Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Pledges Support for TPS and Trade between U.S., Haiti and Caribbean Basin
By Naeisha Rose
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Hervé H. Denis, the newly-appointed Haitian Ambassador to the United States, last week in Washington D.C. and promised to be an advocate of both the temporary protected status (TPS) of Haitian nationals and the Caribbean Basin Recovery Act.
Schumer’s pledge came a day before a Brooklyn federal court judge filed an injunction on April 12 to maintain TPS for Haitians to remain in the United States until 2020 as Haiti recovers from damage sustained by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that occurred in 2010 and an outbreak of cholera that was brought to the island by UN relief workers.
“As a representative of the large and vibrant Haitian-American community in New York, that has added so much to our state and nation, it was a pleasure to meet with the speaker of the House of Deputies and the Haitian ambassador to the U.S. I strongly support the effort to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable Haitians now in America, as well as the extension of trade benefits between the U.S. and Haiti included in the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act,” said Schumer.
Approximately 190,718 Haitians live in New York State, according to Census data from the 2018 American Community Survey. An estimated 156,000 live in New York City.
Schumer also backed the measure to lengthen the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act of 1983, which is also known as the Caribbean Basin Initiative.
CBERA was enacted in 1984 and provides duty-free trade between the United States and the Caribbean, according to the Office of United States Trade Representative.
Haiti is among 17 countries within the CBI, according to the USTR.
The U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act of 2,000 expanded CBERA provisions and CBTPA was set to expire on Sept. 30, 2020, according to USTR. Since then there have been additional benefits reserved for Haiti for trade from the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2006 (HOPE), the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2008 (HOPE II), and the Haiti Economic Lift Program of 2010 (HELP).
Those preferences were scheduled to expire Sept. 30, 2025, according to USTR.
However, an amendment to the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act on April 11 will extend provisions for trade between the U.S. and CBI countries until Sept. 30, 2030. The extension went into effect on April 13.
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