WASHINGTON, D.C. –– On October 30, 2020, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that fresh-cut roses will be added to the list of products eligible for preferential treatment under the Generalized System of Preference (GSP).
According to the Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF), adding roses to the GSP will relieve flower importers of about $15 million dollars per year in duties that are paid on roses.
This is a great achievement for the flower industry supporting the importation of roses. In 2019 there were more than 2.3 billion stems of roses that were imported from around the world; including our farm, Jet Fresh Flower Growers in Ecuador which produces natural and color-enhanced fresh-cut roses.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart issued a statement following the annoucement and acknowledging this acheivement from AFIF: America’s Flower Connection:
“The cut flowers industry is a critical component of Florida’s economy. For years now, they have been adversely affected by onerous and unnecessary fees on imported cut roses even though they support more than 6,000 jobs in South Florida— the floral gateway in the U.S.
I thank U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer for allowing this to happen. I also commend the Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF) for continuously safeguarding the interests of South Florida fresh cut flower importers, and I look forward to seeing the positive economic impact this will have in the United States.”
AFIF: America’s Flower Connection has been essential in ensuring the free flow of flowers into the U.S. About 90% of the flowers that enter the U.S. come through South Florida. Their efforts have supported their members greatly creating pivotal changes that beneficially impact the flower industry.