Sullivan, Feinstein, Murkowski & King Introduce American Grown Act
U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Angus King (I-Maine) yesterday introduced the American Grown Act, legislation requiring the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State to only procure cut flowers and cut greens grown in the United States. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) first introduced the legislation in the House in May of 2019, and introduced companion legislation last week.
“If one issue can unite members of Congress, it is the call to Buy American—especially when American taxpayer dollars are involved,” said Senator Sullivan. “Our federal agencies spend millions of dollars procuring flowers and greenery for our many events, ceremonies and galas, and those flowers should be American grown. By putting this commonsense, patriotic concept into law, we will support the hard-working men and women of this industry, including the hundreds of local growers in Alaska.”
“Our country, especially California, has a robust flower industry. But nearly 80 percent of flowers purchased in the United States are imported from abroad,” said Senator Feinstein. “The federal government should lead the way to correct this, and I’m proud to join Senator Sullivan to support our flower industry by requiring federal agencies to purchase only American-grown flowers.”
“Nationwide, cut-flower growers are making significant investments in America’s economy. Alaska’s ability to grow some of the world’s largest, most vibrant peonies, which bloom later in the season than our competitors around the globe, also provides economic opportunities for Alaska’s farmers, wholesalers, retailers, and their employees, said Senator Murkowski. “Our federal agencies—particularly the White House, State Department, and the Department of Defense—should support American floriculture by purchasing American-grown flowers to help this industry thrive. I am proud to sign on as an original cosponsor of this legislation led in the Senate by Senator Sullivan and introduced in the House by Congressman Young. I hope it will come to a vote quickly.”
“When the U.S. government spends taxpayers’ dollars, it should prioritize American products in order to reinject these funds back into the national economy,” said Senator King. “We have an opportunity to meet this responsibility by buying American-grown flowers – but under the current system, the vast majority of flowers purchased by the government are foreign-grown, meaning that money is sent to stimulate foreign economies. This is a simple fix that will benefit our flower-growing industry and overall economy.”
“A huge thanks to Senator Sullivan from his peony farmers in the state of Alaska and the cut flower and foliage farms of Certified American Grown,” said Rita Jo Shoultz, chair of the board for Certified American Grown and owner of Alaska Perfect Peony. “We appreciate the support of Senators Sullivan and Murkowski in the introduction of the American Grown Act. The leadership and commitment the Senators show to support our homegrown industry which works hard daily to beautify the White House and other select federal departments is commendable and recognizes the importance U.S. farms have in generating jobs, economic contributions and supporting families and communities.”
Click here for a copy of the proposed legislation.