PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Congressional auditors say Haitian clothing makers are increasingly benefiting from a U.S. trade preference aimed at promoting the impoverished nation's economy.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office says nearly $18 million in Haitian apparel was exported to the U.S. under the duty-free provision in the first nine months of 2012.
That amount is significantly more than what the auditors found the year before during the same period, which was about $350,000.
The Haitian garment industry once employed more than 100,000 people but it was devastated in the 1980s and '90s because of political upheaval and economic sanctions.
There were fears the industry would suffer again after the devastating January 2010 earthquake but production had been restored two months later.
The GAO report was released Friday.