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#5204: 5184: U.S. trade act could offer needed boost to Haiti's economy: Poincy comments (fwd)

From: Jean Poincy <caineve@idt.net>

NO!!! The U.S. trade act can't "offer the needed boost to Ayiti's
economy". Where Richard Coles, Mr. Kesner Pharel of group croissance,
Marie-Claude F. Bayard of Classic Apparel see light at the end of the
tunnel, I see darkness, a very thick one preventing Ayiti from getting
out of its economic quagmire. 

To them, there will be job creation, and increase in both import and
export. Accordingly, these are great economic opportunities that Ayiti
should not miss if it wants to realize a success story, exploit its
competitive capacity and reaches its economic potential. If we recall
the great expectation for Ayiti to be the Taiwan of the Caribbean in the
70s, the new trend is a "déjà vu". 

What lies behind the arguments of these three proponents of the US trade

1: Richard Coles as a defender of American companies will always
identify Ayiti as having "the biggest potential in manufacturing" and
being able "to tap into its unrealized potential" if eligible. From his
perspective the unrealized potential is the non-utilization of the
country's massive cheap labor. In other words, Ayiti's competitiveness
does not lie in technological development nor in qualified labor, but in
the execution of menial tasks that unqualified and illiterate workers
can only perform. That's what US companies are in search for to become
competitive on the international market. That's why both the US
government and companies are "pro-active". They are not out there to
help Ayiti launch its economic development. Let's not make a dupe of

2: Mr. Pharel on his part falls short in his economic forecast when
thinking positively about the US trade policy. He is quite correct about
increase of import and new jobs. The increase in import is about
intermediary products only (or parts to assemble), but not import of
technology or the "know how". The job creation is quite relative to the
risk of having none at all. Whatever job creation there is, it will be
an arrested one and will never benefit the country's economy, as Mr.
Pharel seems to insinuate. 

For economic growth to occur, import of intermediary products should not
be a variable in the equation, unless it is about new appropriate
technologies or the "know how". Further, the intermediary products
should have to be manufactured in Ayiti to create forward and backward
linkages. Those are the essence of economic development. As a result one
sector would pull another in the growth process while the job creation
would follow an infinite course. Mr. Pharel's approval of some
ill-conceived trade policies is quite myopic. 

3: For Marie-Claude F. Bayard, her stance reflects that of a
businessperson out there to make a profit at any cost. It's natural for
a general manager of an assembly plant to view this as THE HOPE for
Ayiti's economy. Her position does not deserve too much thought.

Well, in face of such a policy, I will stand behind Mr. Préval's
statement that is grossly misinterpreted: "We have to swim to get out"
(Nage pou'n soti). If by not agreeing with the international community
to change the outcome of the elections, Ayiti will not receive financial
assistance, it is a blessing. Otherwise, complying with their request
would make Ayiti eligible to benefit (if benefice there is) much to its

Ayiti has lived, lives and will live