We wanted to make you aware that there is a very important issue occurring right now which will affect all floral business in the United States. Congress has failed to pass an extension of the Andean Trade Preferences Bill which excludes South American cut floral products from import duties. As of Sunday February 13th, 2011 import duties on South American cut flowers has been reinstated by the Federal government. These import taxes vary from 3.2% to 6.8%.
What this means to you is the cost of all South American flowers is going to go up!
With your help we can mitigate the damage caused by the failure to extend the bill and speed the process of extending the Andean bill to exempt South American cut flowers from import duties. At the bottom of this email we have included contact information for your State Representatives and US Senators. Please contact them via phone, fax or email and let them know how the failure to extend the Andean Bill will hurt your business and your bottom line.
Below is a copy and paste of information provided by the Association of Floral Importers and WF&FSA Association.
February 15, 2011
South American Trade Benefits Expire – WF&FSA Association
The US Congress has elected to not take up the extension of the Andean Trade Preferences. Starting Sunday February 13, 2011, South American flowers that had been enjoying duty free access to the United States market, will now face the reinstatement of duties at the rate of 3.2% to 6.8%.
Press Release – Association of Floral Importers
February 11, 2011–The U.S. Congress was not able to act on an extension of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) that is set to expire tomorrow, February 12, 2011. Importers will be assessed duties starting Sunday, February 13, 2011 at the rate of 3.2 to 6.8 percent.
In December 2010 at the very last hour Congress passed a six-week extension of the ATPDEA which allowed flowers to be Imported for Valentine’s Day duty free.
Knowing that a six week extension at the beginning of a new Congress with about 100 freshmen was going to be a hard task to get an extension accomplished in a short time, AFIF decided to be proactive and made visits to Congress from January 25th through February 10, 2011. During the Congressional visits there was an overwhelming support for the ATPDEA renewal. But, there was not that support for some of the additional items that were being “attached” to the ATPDEA renewal. AFIF, along with delegations from Colombia and Ecuador, expressed to the Congress the detriment that the lapse of the preferences will have on the flower importing companies.
Next week Congress will be back in session and they indicated that the ATPDEA is one that they will work on. The hope is that Congress can work out their difference and pass another extension of the ATPDEA. AFIF will continue to make sure that Congress moves forward so that the flower industry is not burdened by paying duties for a long period of time.
Ways and Means Chairman, Dave Camp (R-MI) stated “Without this commitment from the Administration, other trade measures – such as TAA and ATPA, which we sought to extend this week – are now in limbo, and American workers will suffer as a result.”
Contact Information for State Representatives and US Senators
The links below will assist you in contacting your State Representative or US Senator
House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml
Here’s another link with more information: