March 22nd, 2010
09:02 PM ET

Clinton, Bush survey state of Haiti

Extending U.S. trade preferences for Haiti could create as many as 100,000 jobs that would boost the earthquake-ravaged country's recovery, former President Bill Clinton said during a visit to the Haitian capital Monday.

Clinton and former President George W. Bush visited Haiti on behalf of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which was established to raise money for long-term recovery in the impoverished nation. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Clinton said that to help Haiti beyond the short term, the U.S. Congress should extend trade preferences that would allow Haiti to increase the amount of textiles Haiti can export into the United States.

"Because if we do, and we say we're going to do it for a longer period of time, we can get massive investment here (and) create tens of thousands or perhaps even 100,000 jobs," Clinton said. Korean businesses have already expressed an interest in investing in additional textile manufacturing facilities in Haiti is such an extension is passed, Clinton said. Brazil's foreign minister recently told Clinton that his country would follow in investing as well.

On Monday, Clinton and Bush met with Haitian leaders, visited a camp for displaced Haitians and toured two small businesses in Port-au-Prince. The U.S. presidents spoke with Haitian President Rene Preval at a news conference Monday. "My mission is to work with President Clinton to remind the American people there is still suffering and work to be done here," Bush said.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Haiti • World
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