Kansas Senator Roger Marshall Takes aim at Fertilizer Tariffs
Spring planting season is underway, but farmers are seeing record high fertilizer prices, so lawmakers here on the hill are looking for solutions to help bring down prices.
“Nitrogen based fertilizers are up quadruple. Phosphates and potash may be doubled as well. So, some of the imports are having tariffs levied on them, for probably some good reason. So, what our bill would do would allow us to petition the ITC and say, ‘please stop these countervailing duties, stop these tariffs right now, under emergency situations like we’re under now.’”
The ‘Emergency Relief From Duties Act’ would create a pathway to establish tariff waivers when broader economic issues threaten domestic supplies.
“Whether it’s a war or a pandemic or some type of a natural disaster that, in the situation, you drastically are going to have a food supply shortage across this world over the next year or two right now.”
The war in Ukraine has resulted in a Russian ban on fertilizer exports and an American ban on Russian oil imports limiting supplies for both.
“From an energy standpoint there’s a lot we could do to fix this particular problem. And that is unleashing the great American energy sources that we do have, including biofuels, and the other great opportunity is that we actually would cut in half the tailpipe emissions as well. So, there’s incredible opportunities there as well. We need this federal government to stop its war on oil and gas industry.”
The situation has also prompted a closer look at consolidation in the fertilizer industry and opportunities to increase American production.
“You know, consolidation of industry is a problem with so many markets. In health care, we see with pharmacy benefit managers, we’re seeing in the meatpacking area and fertilizers as well. And I think the big reasons for this consolidation is government rules. As rules expand, it’s harder for those smaller companies to participate. So, what we have to do on my level is to cut back on the on all the rules and regulations, but I’m concerned about the consolidation of industry as well.”
The legislation has been introduced on the House side by Kansas Representative Tracey Mann and has the support of the National Corn Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and the Kansas Soybean Association.