Miller calls on Biden to waive fertilizer tariffs

DES MOINES — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller released the following statement:

“I join the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association in calling on President Biden to remove the import duties imposed on phosphate fertilizers from Morocco.

“I have spoken to many farmers and agricultural groups in Iowa about the impact of high fertilizer prices. It is critical that the President act as soon as possible, as growers begin buying fertilizers in preparation for the 2023 growing season. These farmers have suffered enough already: as crop prices have roughly doubled over the past of the past two years, fertilizer prices are two to four times higher than they were in September 2020, according to an Iowa State University study I requested.

“Growing evidence is emerging that these tariffs are not necessary to protect domestic fertilizer manufacturers. These tariffs are the result of intense lobbying by Mosaic Co. and have resulted in increased concentration of the phosphate fertilizer market on which Mosaic already held a virtual monopoly.The ISU study shows that between 2018-19 and 2020-21, Mosaic’s net income increased by 418%.

“I am grateful that in July the United States International Trade Commission voted unanimously to reject anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of urea and ammonium nitrate, another essential fertilizer for farmers.

“The trade commission should also reverse its decision to allow tariffs on phosphate fertilizer products. In the meantime, however, President Biden should use his authority to relinquish 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 boost their yields. My office will continue to examine the factors behind the high prices, and I will continue to work with United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who has called on fertilizer companies to avoid taking advantage of the situation.

Here are Attorney General Miller’s previous statements and actions on fertilizer prices this year:

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