Thai Orchid Growers Turn to China as US Sales Wilt Under Tariffs

BANGKOK — The protectionist climate in the U.S. is pushing Thai orchid exporters to seek more fertile ground in China, in another example of how trade tensions can reshape markets of all kinds.

The U.S. is the No. 1 importer of Thai orchids, bringing in $20 million worth of the flowers a year. But Washington in 2018 removed a tariff exemption on the blooms, which had been granted for decades under the Generalized System of Preferences, a program for promoting the growth of developing economies.

This slapped a 6.6% tariff on Thai orchids.

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