Thursday, June 17, 2010

Haiti's Calamity Is a Windfall for Everyone, Except Haitians-Part II

Guest post by Terroroftyrants
P031409PS-0036 by The White House.
President Barack Obama meets with President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil in the Oval Office,
March 14, 2009. (Official White House
Photo by Pete Souza)
Most mainstream media coverage won't explain the massively lucrative nature of the Haiti venture to the US, the United Nation and Brazil. The financial interests in "their plan" for Haiti. The general spin is that the fundamental motivation of this trade initiative was humanitarian – to aid Haiti's economic development through sustainable production activity.

The authorities in the US, UN and Brazilian governments won't explain that the Brazilian-headed UN troops are, by-the-way, in Haiti not only to secure the use of cheap Haitian labor for their transnational corporations, exploit Haiti's natural resources, but also to defend Brazil’s dream of becoming more of a status quo power itself and gain a seat in the UN Security Council. Brazilian corporations have successfully lobbied Washington and made Brazil a beneficiary under the Washington HOPE Act that allows for duty free textile goods from Haiti for 10 years.

That means, for instance, the Brazilian company, Coteminas - Latin America's largest textile company, owned by the brother-in-law of Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Brazil will be able to make clothing in Haiti or the Dominican Republic and ship them to the US with preferential treatment. Currently, Brazil is the top maker of textile in the region. The textile empire is owned and controlled by President Lula's brother in law. Brazil retained a high-powered law firm in DC to broker the trade deal in Washington.

In an article that appeared in the August 15, 2008 issue of the Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico, explained why Brazil should get preferential trade terms:
"In the midst of chaos [the chaos of the Haitian economic situation and earthquake disaster], Brazilian companies are searching for opportunities and are beginning to profit from their strategic position as leader of MINUSTAH.

Coteminas [Brazilian giant of the textile sector, whose chairman is none other than the son of the vice president of Brazil] wants to use Haiti as a platform for export and clothing manufacture aimed at the US. Brazil is a known collaborator in the rescue process of Haiti. Our country has the right to demand preferential treatment, said Valor Josue Gomes da Silva, president of Coteminas.

In spite of institutional confusion, Haiti presents important advantages for a company in the textile sector: proximity and access to the biggest market in the world, the US, and very inexpensive labor. A dressmaker for the capital Port-au-Prince is paid $0.50 an hour. That is a wage lower than the $3.27 paid in Brazil, and comparable to the $0.46 of Vietnam and $0.28 of Bangladesh."
Coteminas' plan is to export fabric from Brazil, have it made into clothes in Haiti at very low cost, and enter the US market without customs duties. The whole process protected by free trade agreements.


Cecilia Russ said...

When you try to tell people these things
on Facebook they say you are "Jaded"..and
"that its about time Haiti got some
How can people be so ignorant. When information
is easily available. Its part of the racism of
assuming that whatever our "leaders" are planning
must be "good for those people"...without even
examining it..because that is too much effort and time expended (and thinking) for Black people..just leave it to the gov. and business!

THIS IS SO HUGE>>ITS AS BIG AS THE QUAKE ITSELF>.you Have the President of Brazil, Clinton,
Carlos Slim.. Frank Guistra...What the hell...
are they planning to squeeze out of Haiti??
There are FEW people buying clothes at Old Navy
(vietnam, mostly)..people aren't buying..unless
they expect to LOWER the prices even more and
when then do..the fabric and style is really,
really cheap looking. No, there is something else..developing the port..building big hotels..
it has to be BIG for Carlos Slim to get into it!
What a massacre...worse than the 1st invasion in

Anonymous said...

According to Haiti Liberte only 15% of Haiti reconstruction money will go to Haitians entrepreneurs. Sounds like the Haitian business class will also be left out of the money that will be pouring in for the reconstruction.

However, Haiti's wealthy class will get its share thanks to the partnership between their construction companies and american constructions companies

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