trade advisory

More Than 40 Food and Agriculture Groups Call for Tariff Adjustment

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Trade

A total of 41 organizations representing a broad array of agricultural interests are calling for significant tariff adjustment. Led by Farmers for Free Trade, the ag groups are encouraging the suspension, reduction, or elimination of tariffs to help relieve some of the impacts of rising inflation. A letter was sent to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai detailing the challenges that producers are facing amidst increasing fuel costs, supply chain disruptions, and rising costs of crop inputs.

Tariff Adjustment

“With so many challenges threatening our livelihood, removal of tariffs on food and agriculture inputs and removal of burdensome retaliatory tariffs would provide immediate relief to America’s food producers,” the letter states.

A copy of the letter was also sent to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The letter comes as the Biden Administration undergoes the review process of tariffs, weighing the impact that a tariff adjustment could have on addressing inflation. Signatories of the letter include the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, American Farm Bureau Federation, and National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

Other signatories including the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and U.S. Apple Association have pointed out how tariffs have been specifically impacting their producers. NPPC noted, “because of Section 232 tariffs remain on Chinese steel, U.S. pork continues to face a 25 percent retaliatory duty on product going to China.” Apple exports have also experienced a decline of 19 percent since 2018, largely due to the retaliatory tariffs. The organizations point out the importance of addressing burdensome tariffs as the industry navigates a multitude of other challenges.

“By rolling back 301 and 232 tariffs and eliminating retaliatory tariffs, you can increase market access for U.S. food and agriculture exports and reduce costs for critical machinery, fertilizer, agricultural chemicals and other food and agriculture inputs,” the letter states. “These efforts would have an immediate effect and would ease the uncertainty felt by all rural America.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West