Last week, President George W. Bush officially notified Congress of his intent to sign a free trade agreement with Colombia. According to the Society of American Florists (SAF), if enacted into law, the agreement would grant permanent duty-free status to flowers coming into the United States from Colombia.
Congress has 90 days from the President’s official notification to ratify the agreement. Colombia’s Congress also must ratify the agreement.
SAF also reminded flower importers that there is no guarantee the free trade agreement with Colombia will be enacted into law by the end of this year. If it does not become law and if the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) is not renewed, importers of record will be responsible for collecting duties on flowers.
The United States and Colombia negotiated most of the agreement back in February and recently finalized the language for the final agreement.