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‘Buy American’ isn’t just for cars or washing machines: a proposed bill applies to flowers

When the U.S. government buys flowers, it makes sense they should buy flowers grown by Americans on American soil. That’s not just jingoism. It makes financial sense by supporting our local economy. And it makes environmental sense. But it is not what is happening.

“Under the current system, the vast majority of flowers purchased by the government are foreign-grown, meaning that money is sent to stimulate foreign economies,” Sen. Angus King is quoted as saying in a press release that announces that he and Rep. Chellie Pingree support the American Grown Act, which would require that the Office of the President and Departments of Defense and State purchase only U.S.-grown cut flowers.

“I’m always looking for ways to support the over 250 farms in Maine that grow cut flowers,” said Pingree, who is co-chair of Cut-Flower Caucus and a co-sponsor of the bill, “especially since many of these small businesses were hit hard during the pandemic as special events were postponed or canceled.”

“It is part of a larger conversation about ways that we can take action to shore up the economic sustainability of our farms here in the U.S.,” she added through her office spokesperson. “As we know, actively working farmland is less likely to fall to development, and keeping that land in farming helps it to remain another important part of the climate solution.”

The bill, which was introduced in the House in July, has been referred to a subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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