Marshall, Mann Lead Bicameral Legislation to Combat Surge In Fertilizer Prices
(Washington, D.C., March 10, 2022) – Today, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. and U.S. Representative Tracey Mann (KS-01) introduced the Emergency Relief From Duties Act aimed at creating emergency waivers for duties leveed on fertilizers by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). This legislation creates a pathway to establish a waiver of Countervailing Duty (CVD) or Anti-dumping Duty (AD) for a year if there is an emergency situation including natural disasters, war, epidemics, labor disputes or major accidents.
“Fertilizer prices are at an all-time high yet additional tariffs continue to be placed on fertilizer, worsening the burden of historic production costs for America’s farmers,” said Senator Marshall. “While we don’t want foreign governments to distort trade with the United States, we must provide flexibility during emergency situations to ensure input costs don’t hinder our farmers’ ability to feed, fuel, and clothe the world.”
“Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers provide America with essential products while operating in one of the most high-risk industries,” said Representative Mann. “That’s why it’s critical to provide them with opportunities for market remedies, especially in times of emergency and unprecedented volatility like we have seen over the last several years. If we don’t support farmers now, we’ll see the crumbling of America’s independent food security in the future.”
“Fertilizers and other inputs have been at an all-time high, and the war in Ukraine promises to drive up the price of products even more,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “Fertilizer have become increasingly hard to secure and pay for because of tariffs or the threat tariffs on imports. That’s why passage of this legislation would come as a welcome relief to farmers across the country.”
“The National Sorghum Producers commends Senator Roger Marshall and Rep. Tracey Mann for their legislation to help address the high price of fertilizer and the concentrated fertilizer market. NSP strongly supports maintaining anti dumping laws that prohibit foreign nations from anticompetitive practices such as selling their products onto the U.S. market at below their own costs of production. But we also need to ensure that we do not create near monopoly conditions here at home that result in exorbitant fertilizer prices. The legislation introduced by Senator Marshall and Rep. Mann strikes that important balance,” said National Sorghum Producers Chairman Kody Carson.
“The current volatility in global markets, as well as skyrocketing input costs threaten to be detrimental to American farmers’ bottom line this growing season,” said Southeast Kansas Farmer and Kansas Soybean Association member Charles Atkinson. “Waiving fertilizer tariffs through the ITC helps to alleviate some of these costs for producers during emergency situations without rewarding foreign governments for market and trade distortion.
“Kansas Corn appreciates efforts of Senator Marshall and Congressman Mann to provide a pathway to waive tariffs on these inputs when agriculture experiences emergency situations that impact the price and availability of fertilizer,” said Kansas Corn Growers Association President Brent Rogers of Hoxie.
The current process for the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) does not consider broader economic issues when issuing a CVD or AD. The ITC only asks if unfair foreign pricing and government subsidies distort the free flow of goods in a way that warrant a CVD or AD. Rather than change the way a CVD or AD is issued or adjust the process on the front end, this bill focuses on creating a new petition process after a CVD or AD has been issued.
There are two ways that emergency situations will allow agricultural groups to petition the ITC: If the emergency situation limits the domestic production of merchandise subject to the duty in a manner that causes economic hardship for users of that merchandise or merchandise made from merchandise subject to the duty; or if the emergency situation would result in a supply and demand disruption that substantially increases the price of merchandise subject to the duty or merchandise made from merchandise subject to the duty.