Flowers entering the United States from Ecuador are now subject to import tariffs after a U.S. trade program granting duty-free status to Ecuadorian flowers expired at midnight December 31.
Under the new protocol, duties on mini carnations are 3.2 percent. All other flowers, excluding roses, have a 6.4 percent duty.
Roses are — and have been — subject to a 6.8 percent duty and are not eligible for duty-free status under GSP from any GSP-eligible country.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) promotes economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories. GSP was created on January 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974.
The GSP periodically expires and must be renewed by Congress to remain in effect. A 2015 GSP reauthorization (H.R. 1295) expired on December 31, 2017.
The current change could be temporary, however, said Drew Gruenburg, chief operating officer of the Society of American Florists.
“SAF has heard that the Trump administration wants to renew GSP — or the Generalized System of Preferences —quickly and probably for three years,” he explained.
Doug Palmer, writing for the subscription-based Politico Pro reported on January 3 that the Trump administration wants Congress to “quickly renew” GSP.
“The administration supports a three-year reauthorization of GSP and hopes to get it done early this year,” an unnamed White House official told Palmer. Before Christmas, a spokeswoman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative declined to say whether the administration supported renewal of the decades-old program.
Look for ongoing coverage of this story in future issues of EBrief and SAF’s Week in Review.