NEWARK, Del. -- The board of directors of the Floral Marketing Association here is opposing an anti-rose-dumping petition and the imposition of duties on roses imported from Colombia and Ecuador.
Terry Humfeld, director of the trade group, said domestic growers charged Colombia and Ecuador last year with dumping, or flooding below-cost roses onto the U.S. market. He said that in order for the federal government to invoke an anti-rose-dumping order on Colombia and Ecuador, two conditions must be met.
First, the International Trade Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, must find that the imported roses are being or have a potential of being sold under cost in the United States.
Secondly, the International Trade Commission, which is separate from the International Trade Administration, must find that the domestic rose industry is being or could be materially injured by the imported roses.
Preliminary hearings have been in favor of the U.S. growers, Humfeld said. Last fall, the ITA established duties of 33% for rose imports from Colombia and 50% for imports from Ecuador. Those duties have been reduced to their current level of 6%, he said.
The International Trade Commission will hold a hearing on April 10 to decide if domestic growers are being or could be hurt by the imported roses. Humfeld said the association opposes domestic growers on this issue, because domestic growers were not responsible for the growth of the mass-market floral industry. He also said that rose prices are not the most important factor in commercial rose sales, and that domestic rose growers cannot support the current mass-market.
"This is not a market that has been taken away from the domestic grower. This is a market that has been developed as a result of importers and mass-market retailers working together to create new rose consumers," he said. "Domestic growers simply lack the capacity to service this market."
The California Cut Flower Commission, Sacramento, supports domestic growers on the anti-dumping petition, said Kathryn Miele, director of promotions for the commission.
"Our rose growers felt some dumping was going on by offshore producers," she said.
Miele said representatives from the commission testified in support of U.S. growers before the International Trade Administration.