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Miller calls on Biden to waive fertilizer tariffs

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has issued the following statement:

“I am joining the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, and National Corn Growers Association in asking President Biden to waive import duties imposed on phosphate fertilizer products from Morocco. 

“I’ve talked to many Iowa farmers and ag groups about the impact of high fertilizer prices. It’s critical that the President act as soon as possible, as growers begin purchasing fertilizer in preparation for the 2023 growing season. These farmers have already suffered enough: While crop prices have roughly doubled over the past couple of years, fertilizer prices are two to four times higher than they were in September 2020, according to a study from Iowa State University that I requested. 

“More evidence is emerging that these tariffs are unnecessary to protect domestic manufacturers of fertilizer. These tariffs are the result of intense lobbying by Mosaic Co. and resulted in increased concentration of the phosphate fertilizer market in which Mosaic already had a near monopoly. The ISU study shows that from 2018-19 to 2020-21, net income for Mosaic increased 418%.  

“I’m grateful that in July, the U.S. International Trade Commission unanimously voted to reject anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of urea ammonium nitrate, another critical fertilizer for farmers. 

“The trade commission should also reverse its decision to allow the tariffs on phosphate fertilizer products. In the meantime, however, President Biden should use his authority to waive the duties. Farmers, and the consumers who depend on them, cannot afford a delay. 

“I remain concerned that manufacturers are taking advantage of higher crop prices to increase their returns. My office will continue to look into the factors leading to the high prices, and I will continue to work with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has called on fertilizer makers to avoid taking advantage of the situation.”  

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