Sen. Dianne Feinstein
(D-Calif) and three other senators want the United States to permit the world's 14 poorest countries
to sell garments and other goods tariff-free and quota-free in the United States as a way to "help these countries help themselves."
Along with Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and Republicans Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Gordon Smith of Oregon,
Feinstein introduced legislation on Monday, Feb. 8, called the Tariff Relief Assistance for Developing Economies (TRADE) Act.
The countries that would benefit from the act are: Afghanistan,
Solomon Islands, East
Timor, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and
Yemen. In addition, The bill contains a provision to assist Sri Lanka in its rebuilding efforts in the wake of the devastation caused by last December's tsunami.
“At a time when U.S. standing is at an all-time low in some countries, we need this legislation to show the best of America,” Feinstein said. “It will provide a vital component to our development strategy and add another tool for fighting the war on terror.”