This week, the Labor Department revealed that inflation rose 9.1 percent in June, surpassing the already-large anticipated estimates of 8.8 percent. Thanks to President Biden’s reckless policies, inflation keeps rising at rates faster than even experts have predicted. In a timely response, Congressional Republicans sent a letter to the Biden Administrating requesting that they take a necessary measure to curb inflation, by waiving import tariffs on fertilizer.
Over 30 Congressional Republicans signed onto this letter, in which they requested that the Biden Administration “waive duties on fertilizer imports that [the Biden] administration imposed on phosphate fertilizer products from Morocco and place a moratorium on any new duties on urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer from Trinidad & Tobago.” The letter pointed out that inflation has soared to record high levels, combined with the CPI for food going up 14.6 percent. The letter echoes warnings from the United Nations World Food Programme that these two concurrent trends will create ripe conditions for global food insecurity. By removing these tariffs, agricultural producers will be able to lower the prices of their own products.
Open Competition Center recently submitted comments to the Biden Administration expressing similar concerns. In their letter, the OCC pointed to a report from Texas A&M that concluded that “the average feed grain operation will pay $128,000 more for fertilizer in 2022. Additionally they asserted that the “tariffs, which remain in effect for 5 years, will choke off fertilizer imports and prolong the economic pain farmers are feeling.” While it may be convenient for the Biden Administration to blame rising fertilizer prices on corporate greed or market concentration, the real picture is significantly more complicated. If the Administration is truly serious about addressing rising fertilizer costs, it should abandon harmful protectionist policies and eliminate the tariffs on foreign fertilizer supply.
The Biden Administration claims it is serious about tackling inflation. Taking measures to reduce the cost of fertilizer will do just that, which is why it is urgent for the Biden Administration to listen to Congress and waive import tariffs on fertilizer.
Photo Credit: “Joe Biden” by Greg Skidmore Under CC by-SA 2.0