“Please take a message back to the president for me: it’s past time we eliminate fertilizer tariffs, and negotiate free trade agreements.”
RED OAK, Iowa – Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Tom Vilsack, and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Katherine Tai, will be in Iowa today. Ahead of their visit, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has a brief message:
“Nice to see you in the Heartland! Please take a message back to the president for me: it’s past time we eliminate fertilizer tariffs, and negotiate free trade agreements.
“The existing tariffs on fertilizer are nothing more than a tax on our farmers. They hinder their ability to afford critical nutrients needed to meet the growing demand. In addition, Iowa farmers grow the safest food products in the world, but they need new markets to actually earn a living,” said Senator Ernst.
Ernst has consistently heard from Iowa farmers about the impact of increased fertilizer costs on her 99 County Tour and has been pushing for solutions. In June, she hosted a roundtable discussion in Iowa with farmers, industry professionals, and federal and state policymakers on the issue.
As fertilizer costs spiked, by as much as 300% in some cases, over the last year because of a severe supply shortage, Ernst joined a group of senators in urging President Biden to waive duties on fertilizer imports, similar to the action the president took to help out the solar industry.
Ernst also sent a letter to USTR Katherine Tai with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) advocating for affordable and accessible inputs for America’s farmers and agriculture producers.