Proexport Colombia

PRESS CONFERENCE WITH HON. GABRIEL SILVA,
COLOMBIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE USA
Highlighting the Importance on the FTA between Colombia and the USA


August 19, 2011- The Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF) is honored to welcome the Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, Ambassador Gabriel Silva, who is going to be at a press conference with the workers of the South Florida floral importing companies on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 3:00pm.

Location:   The USA Bouquet Company
1500 NW 95th Avenue
Doral, Florida

We hope you can join us to meet and greet the Ambassador and show him the support that South Fxlorida has for the US-Colombia free trade agreement.

For more information or to confirm attendance, please contact Christine Boldt at christine@afifnet.org Andrea Lopez at alopez@proexport.com.co.

Notes from the Floral Industry in South Florida:

The US floral industry depends on flowers from the Andean Region. Approximately 4.3 billion flowers are imported annually mostly from Colombia. These flowers play a major role in the supporting the estimated $20 billion US floriculture industry.

Approximately 200,000 US jobs depend on the flower imports with more than 6,000 of those jobs here in South Florida that depend directly on the flower trade. These jobs are in sectors such as transportation, import brokerage, wholesale operations, retail flower shops, internet providers, supermarkets and wholesale club stores. 89% of all flowers that are imported into the United States come through Miami International Airport.

The global flower industry is extremely competitive, margins are very thin. On February 13, 2011 the Andean Trade Preference Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) expired leaving the flower importers to start paying duties of 3.4% to 6.8% on flowers that are imported from Colombia. Since this expiration of duties was not anticipated nor budgeted for by the importing companies and their customers, it has had a large financial impact on the companies. It is estimated that flower importers are paying about $2 million per month in duties and some of these costs cannot be passed on their customers.

Colombia negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States in 2006 and it has been held until this time. Congress has reported that they have agreed to a path forward for the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (along with the agreements with Korea and Panama) that will hopefully be up for a vote when Congress returns to Washington in September. This agreement will not only give importers permanent duty free status but it will allow US companies to sell their goods to Colombia without tariffs. It is estimated that the 3 free trade agreements will produce about 250,000 jobs in the US.

An extension of the ATPDEA is needed to give the industry a bridge in coverage until the US-Colombia free trade agreement can be implemented. So, we are looking for an extension as soon as possible.

For more information please contact Christine Boldt at the Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF) at 305-593-2383 or christine@afifnet.org

AFIF’s mission is to ensure the free flow of flowers into the United States. The Association is a local non-profit association and was formed in 1982 to help give the importers a common voice. Most flower importers and supporting companies are located within a 5 mile radius of Miami International Airport.

Proexport Colombia is the entity in charge of promoting exports, foreign investment and tourism to the country. Our main office in the USA is located in Miami with representatives throughout USA in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. Proexport mission is to facilitate your business with Colombia by providing you with reliable and relevant information about business transactions with Colombia companies. For additional information about Proexport Colombia, visit us on www.proexport.com.co

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