USTR and Fertilizer Imports
It was an awkward moment as Kansas Senator Jerry Moran brought up the huge spike in fertilizer prices …
TARIFFS … “What can you do when talking about phosphates from Morocco? This administration placed countervailing duties on fertilizer ingredients coming from Trinidad and Tobago. What can you do to help lower the cost of imported fertilizer components?”
But Ambassador Tai avoided a direct answer, arguing instead she’s working on boosting domestic fertilizer production and not on rolling back import duties …
TARIFFS … “The antidumping, countervailing duty programs are run out of Commerce, and your specific question was what can we do at USTR, and that was the filter through which I was responding.” Moran “And so is the answer that you have nothing to do with eliminating those countervailing tariffs and duties at the Department of Commerce?” Tai “They’re not my programs, but I’m happy with Secretary Vilsack to have those conversations with the Commerce Secretary.” Moran “Please, do.”
Separately, the House Appropriations Committee sent to the full House its $27-billion Fiscal Year 2023 USDA/FDA spending bill, up more than 8% from this year.
The panel passed an amendment banning China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran from owning U.S. farmland … but killed one to withhold funds from the FDA until it issues a report on its handling of the infant formula crisis.