Professional Florist, UK
US florists join Asocolflores in trade deal push
By Rhys Timson
2 June 2011
The Society of American Florists, the umbrella organisation for the flower industry in the US, has supported the announcement that the US and Colombia have reached an agreement to help clear a path toward final Congressional approval of the US/Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
SAF CEO and executive vice president Peter J. Moran said: “After years of inaction, I am very pleased that negotiators from both the US and Colombia have bridged their differences and are moving forward in a positive direction.”
At the same time, on 17 May, the Produce Marketing Association - which represents nearly 3,000 companies from every segment of the global produce and mass market floral supply chain - submitted communiqués to both the US Senate Finance Committee and the US House Ways and Means Committee, urging Congress to press ahead with the trade agenda. PMA made specific requests for both an extension of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act and for immediate progress on Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
Earlier this year, the Colombian Embassy in Washington DC gave a rose to each one of the 535 members of Congress in a bid to get the legislative body to renew the ATPDEA, which exempts certain products – including flowers – from Colombia and other South American countries from import duties.