Washington state flower growers balk as U.S. government helps Columbia take over market. MOUNT VERNON - As she took a break from picking dahlias, zinnias and amaranths on her Jello Mold Farm, Diane Szukovathy wondered why, in her opinion, the federal government is working so hard to put other flower growers and her out of business by helping competitors thousands of miles away in the temperate regions of Colombia.
U.S. government spending millions since 1999 to help poor Colombian farmers destroy their coca plants and replace them with flowers. Then Congress passed a free-trade agreement with Colombia last year, making those blooms cheaper for Americans to buy.
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