Haiti's industrial sector is almost exclusively export-oriented, revolving around assembly plants producing consumer goods for the U.S. market. In the 1970s and 1980s this sector grew rapidly, and Haiti was briefly one of the leading producers of baseballs and other sporting goods, with 60,000 people employed around Port-au-Prince. The political violence of the late 1980s and 1990s and particularly the embargo imposed on the military regime between 1991 and 1994 severely affected this sector, and many companies relocated to the Dominican Republic or Mexico.
By 1999 the manufacturing sector was estimated to employ 35,000 workers, mostly women, producing clothing, toys, and electronic parts. The value of manufactured exports in 1999 was estimated at almost US$250 million and accounted for most overall exports.
Other manufacturing takes place on a small scale and is either directed at the small local market or involves artisans who produce goods such as artworks, furniture, and souvenirs, which are normally exported to tourist destinations elsewhere in the Caribbean.