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17155: (Hermantin)Miami-Herald-Letters to the editor-Haiti needs imports (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Haiti needs imports

Re the Oct. 26 article Some areas really miss the tariffs on Haiti:

I have worked in Haiti with a mission agency for more than 20 years. We do
many community-development projects. In the past we have had poultry
projects. All have closed down -- not because of the availability of cheap
American chicken parts but because of the cost of necessary imported chicken
feed that for many years had been available at a reasonable cost. Then its
cost went out of sight. No reason given.

Yes, U.S. rice and poultry imports also have cost some jobs. However, the
article failed to mention that Haiti has never in recent history been able
to produce enough rice to provide for the need. Rice is such a staple here
that it has to be imported.

To protect a few local rice farmers with high tariffs on imported rice would
only make a tough economic situation far worse for the millions of Haitians
who aren't in the few areas able to produce rice. To protect a few thousand
jobs at the expense of 8 to 10 million people isn't good economics.

The availability of cheap rice and poultry actually has been a great help to
the masses. The chicken parts provide good protein and much more meat per
pound than local chickens.

All the Haitians I know are happy with the availability of good rice and
poultry at reasonable prices.


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