AmericanHort Comments on Two Agency Moves Affecting Plant Trade

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has proposed a fourth list of imported items from China that are likely to be subject to retaliatory tariffs, unless the ongoing trade dispute with China is resolved.  Imports of these “list 4” items represent an estimated $300 billion in annual imports.  If the proposal is finalized, they would be subject to a 25 percent punitive tariff.

List 4 contains harmonized tariff system subheadings in the 0602 group, which includes live plants and plant propagative materials in various forms.  AmericanHort filed official comments urging that the subheadings covering young plants that are subject to further cultivation and development here in the U.S. not be included if List 4 is finalized and retaliatory tariffs are applied.

In a separate regulatory matter, at publishing deadline, we were preparing to file comments on a proposal by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service that would streamline Agency compliance with environmental assessment obligations associated with requests to import plants in growing media.  The final comments, which will be posted shortly, urged additional safeguards due to the increased pest risk generally posed by plant imports that are established in approved growing media, as compared to other forms like unrooted or bareroot cuttings or tissue culture plantlets.

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