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#4381: hope for textiles: Gill argues no

From: markgill <markgill@clas.net>

> Poincy's recent post on eventually expanding local agricultural
> business throughout the carribean sounds a bit like Manigat circa 1988.
> I believe Manigat referred to it as "Agro-industry. This is not a
> criticism, but an oberservation. Why will Haiti's textile's work where
> coffee and rice haven't?
     *****in fact, there is little hope for a textile industry....first,
cotton absorbs more nutrients from the soil than most agricultural products.
second, the textile market in the US is overloaded, and especially since the
US textile industry either lost out to foreign competition (witness what
happened in South Carolina, where many of the textile mills were moved
overseas) and today, practically any shirt i buy says "made in Sri Lanka,
China, Malaysia, etc....

it is doubtful that Haiti will have much success entering such a highly
competitive market....in China, for example, the export textile market is
well organized, managed mostly by foreign companies, and if necessary, wages
can be lowered if the products from such companies begin to lose its market
to cheaper products from another country....this has happened before....and,
this approach is not limited to China,where the govt can step in and lower
wages and then subsidize the workers thru other means.....China can do this,
Haiti cannot....

Haiti does not fill its sugar quota given by the US...simply because Haiti
cant produce the sugar at a cost competitive with sugar in the US market,
that comes not only from the US producers, but also from the DR, etc....

the problem is that Haiti has simply not had any sort of industrial
development policy that works....rather, exports have been controlled by a
few families,and very few at that....plus, these few families are opposed to
much change...they want the major export business firmly under their
control....another example of "elitism" that has kept Haiti out of the
international arena....