Diaz-Balart Applauds USTR’s Decision to Add Fresh-Cut Roses to the GSP Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart issued the following statement after the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it would be adding fresh cut roses to the list of products eligible for preferential treatment under the Generalized System of Preference (GSP).
“The cut flowers industry is a critical component of Florida’s economy,” said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. 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.”
According to the Association of Floral Importers of South Florida (AFIF), having roses added to the GSP will relieve the flower importers of about $15 million dollars per year in duties that are paid on roses. 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.
"We are very thankful for all of the work and support that Congressman Diaz-Balart has provided to the flower industry in leading the effort to have Congressional members sign letters urging USTR to grant the petition to have roses added to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP),” said Christine Boldt, Executive Vice President of AFIF. “With the flower importers not having to pay the duties we can hire more people and support efforts to sell more flowers to more people throughout the US. Congressman Diaz-Balart has always been a great supporter of the flower importing industry and the businesses that support this very important industry in South Florida.”
In the last year, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, along with members of the Florida Delegation, has sent two letters to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requesting that they consider adding fresh cut roses to the list of GSP-eligible products.