Retaliatory Tariffs on Bulbs May Hurt Some Growers

October 29, 2004 - 11:14

Bulb growers in the United States may be in for a rude awakening soon if a recent proposed tariff on select bulbs comes through. According to the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Dateline Newsletter bulb growers may have to pay up to 10 percent more in tariffs from the European Union (EU) if the United States Trade Representatives Office (USTR) approves the proposal.

There have been a couple of recent developments in the EU that have increased duties on products exported to the United States that are the current cause of this sudden increase. Currently the United States and the EU are working together to come up with some solutions on how to fix this increase, according to SAF. However, if these negotiations somehow fail, the United States may need to increase the tariffs on the selected bulb crops. Some of the bulbs currently listed are tulip, hyacinth, lily, narcissus, lily of the valley and crocus corms.

According to SAF, at this point the increases are quite large. For example, currently duty on a tulip bulb is about $0.89 per 1,000; the raise would make it $9 per 1,000 bulbs. Another example is hyacinth, which is currently at $0.38 per 1,000 and may be raised to $6 per 1,000 according to SAF.

Industry members are in the process of testifying at public hearings to the USTR office letting them know all of the negative effects of this tariff. At this point SAF has submitted comments to the USTR asking them to take bulbs off of the list.

For more information about this topic contact Drew Gruenburg at SAF at (800) 336-4743 or dgruenburg@safnow.org.

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