Marshall, Mann call on President to reduce price of fertilizer for Kansas farmers

FILE - Fertilizer
FILE - Fertilizer(MGN)
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 8:46 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Roger Marshall and Congressman Tracey Mann have called on President Joe Biden to relax import duties on fertilizer to reduce prices for Kansas farmers.

As inflation reaches the highest it has been in 41 years, along with record fertilizer prices, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says President Joe Biden’s Administration has also placed the burden of imports on Morrocan phosphate fertilizer and is in the midst of doing the same for UAN fertilizer from long-time supplier Trinidad and Tobago.

On Thursday, July 14, Sen. Marshall said he joined Congressman Tracey Mann (R-KS) to lead 27 members of Congress in a letter to President Biden which demands his administration waive the import duties on fertilizers from the two nations.

“Our country’s farmers and agricultural producers are making decisions on what to plant today based on fertilizer prices rather than typical market fundamentals. Coupled with inflation at the highest it has been in 41 years and a Consumer Price Index for food up 14.6%, the rising cost of fertilizer will increase food insecurity and geopolitical tension domestically and abroad,” the letter said. “Unfortunately, during these unprecedented circumstances, your Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) imposed duties on imports of Moroccan phosphate and is in the process of imposing duties on UAN from long-time supplier Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, currently, a supermajority of the global tradable supply of phosphate fertilizers is subject to U.S. duties…The bottom line is that fertilizer is critical to national security and national defense. Its affordability is also critical to wrangling out-of-control inflation. As such, we strongly encourage you to take immediate action to waive duties on fertilizer imports from Morocco and Trinidad and Tobago…”

In June, Marshall said Biden used his emergency authority to issue a proclamation that waived offset duties and anti-dumping duties for solar panels. He said the President’s justifications for this move could also be applied to fertilizer, which directly impacts food prices more than any emergency that concerns solar panels.

In May, the Senator also said he joined three others to urge U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to focus on meeting the nation’s long-term fertilizer needs amid unreliable trade with nations like Russia, China and Belarus.

In March, Marshall said he and Representative Mann also introduced the Emergency Relief From Duties Act, which would have created emergency waivers for duties levied on fertilizers by the International Trade Commission. He said the legislation would create a pathway to establish a waiver for Countervailing Duty or Anti-Dumping Duty for a year if there is an emergency situation that includes natural disasters, war, epidemics, labor disputes or major accidents.

In 2021, Marshall also noted that he wrote a letter to the U.S. Geological Survey to urge it to not remove potash from its joint list with the Department of the Interior for Critical Minerals in 2021 and to add phosphate as a crucial mineral due to fertilizer concerns. He also wrote a letter to the ITC to oppose the imposition of countervailing duties on phosphate fertilizers from Morroco.

To read the full letter sent on Wednesday, click HERE.

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