Seriously, Adam Davidson states that
"six Haitian businesspeople, five men, one woman, flew to Las Vegas recently to - I don't think you can put this too grandly - to change the destiny of Haiti's economy."The entire piece was an uncritical paean to the benefits of US/neoliberal trade policies. Davidson introduces the US trade representative with this homage:
"Ladies and gentlemen, Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative. The only reason Haiti even has a textile industry right now is because of this guy, or at least because of his office."Joffe-Walt soon chimes in with her I'm-lecturing-preschoolers voice as she explains the complexities of how Haiti's textile industry and US quotas work:
"Haiti wants the quota lifted. They want to be able to sell as many clothes to the U.S. as possible. To them, its simple: lift the quota and we get out of poverty."Joffe-Walt explains that "The U.S. really only gives out trade deals if it serves some purpose, some American purpose." She and Davidson have nothing but praise for the policy - even going so far as to tout its Middle East peacemaking power. Davidson finds an Egyptian textile dealer at the Las Vegas trade fair who says, "President Clinton wanted to make peace between Israel and Arab nations. So, he thought of this genius protocol..." Forgetting to mention that Egypt is dictator-run, torture state and that Israel is a "democratic" torture state bent on destroying Palestinian people - Davidson explains that
"the genius thing there is that Israel and Arab nations only get this special deal if they work together."If there's any confusion about whose viewpoint Davidson represents in the report, consider this gem when he is talking about Pakistan:
"Pakistan's apparel industry got a huge boost itself right after 9/11, when they got a sweet textile trade deal in exchange for helping us with the war on terror." [I hate to break it to Davidson, but neither "the war on terror" nor Pakistan's role in it has ever done squat for "us" - unless he means the cheerful militarists and war profiteers here in the land of the free.]And so it goes throughout the rest of the report. The voices never heard are those lucky Haitians who get $3.09 a day working in the exciting world of making clothes for "us" in Haiti. It also goes without saying that Davidson and Joffe-Walt present nothing of the general history of the European/US exploitation of Haiti or the US role in bringing that "sweet deal" of sweat shop life to Haiti.