After many years of the Association of Floral Importers of Florida’s (AFIF) hard work on behalf of its members and the flower industry, President Trump has added roses to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) after the recommendations from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) effective November 1st, 2020, AFIF announces in a press release.
About 90% of the flowers that enter the US enter through South Florida, then go to Importer facilities before being transported throughout the US. In 2019, there were more than 2.3 billion stems of roses that were imported. Roses are the number one flowers that US consumers know and choose.
AFIF reports that flower importers have been paying duties on roses from some countries, like Ecuador, in the amount of about $15 million per year since July 2013 when the Andean Trade Preference Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) expired. The flower importers have paid in excess of 100 million dollars over the past seven years.
"This major accomplishment was done because of strong partnerships," they say. "The AFIF Board of Directors would like to thank Jairo Rengifo from Falcon Farms for funding the legal aspect of this work, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart for his leadership in getting bipartisan letters sent to USTR in support of our petition and Senator Rick Scott for making phone calls to Ambassador Lighthizer to support our petition. Working together and continuing to stay focused helped us get roses added to the GSP."
In a press release Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, applauds USTR’s decision to add fresh-cut roses to the GSP Program. “The cut flowers industry is a critical component of Florida’s economy,” he says. "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. Adding fresh cut roses to the list of GSP-eligible products not only ensures that U.S consumers and businesses are no longer burdened with costly duties, but it promotes jobs and economic activity in our state. 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.” Click here to read Mario Diaz-Balart's complete press release.
The mission of AFIF is to ensure the free flow of flowers and to provide benefits and support for members. AFIF members are mainly in South Florida as more than 90% of the flowers that are imported into the United States enter through the Miami International Airport, Miami Seaport and Port Everglades all located in South Florida. Imported flowers support more than 6,000 jobs in South Florida.
Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF)