The Colombian Embassy in Washington D.C. will flood the halls of Congress with Colombian roses this Tuesday, in a symbolic move to pressure the U.S. government to extend the trade preferences act.
The United States Congress chose to allow the ATPDEA (Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act) to expire on February 12, after a number of prior extensions. The act permitted the importation of approximately 5,600 Andean products into the U.S. without import taxes, in recognition of regional cooperation in the global fight against drug trafficking.
According to Monday reports by Colombian media, the flowers, which will be sent to each of the 535 members of the U.S. Congress, will be accompanied by a message on behalf of the Colombian government.
“In this message we will remind them that the flowers that they buy during and after Easter and Mother’s day will be more expensive because at this moment there are no preferences. What’s more, we will remind them of the jobs that are at risk in both countries, because of the expiration of the ATPDEA,” said a Colombian diplomat.
The expiration of the ATPDEA has seriously hurt Colombian exporters, leading to a decision last month by the Colombian government to provide $150 million in loans to stem the impact.