A coalition of 42 industry groups and businesses signed a letter urging U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to work to suspend, reduce, or eliminate all remaining Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs in return for commitments from other countries to suspend commensurate retaliatory tariffs. A copy of the letter is included below for reference.
Please contact Brian Kuehl, Executive Director, Farmers for Free Trade if you have any questions.
May x, 2022
The Honorable Katherine Tai
United States Trade Representative
Executive Office of the President
600 17th Street, NW Washington, DC 20508
Dear Ambassador Tai:
On behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, and food producers, we write to express our strong support for engagement with our key agriculture-export markets. It is long past time to suspend, reduce, or eliminate the tariffs which currently hinder our food and agriculture exports. We are encouraged by President Biden’s recent comments that he will consider 301 tariff reduction in the context of his efforts to curb inflation. We urge you to work to suspend, reduce, or eliminate all remaining Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs in return for commitments from other countries to suspend commensurate retaliatory tariffs that have adversely affected our industry and America’s farm families.
As you know, U.S. agriculture has been caught in the crossfire of the trade wars beginning in 2018. Since that time, American food and agriculture has witnessed the loss of critical export markets as our competitors have replaced American producers in markets that took us decades to build. Retaliatory tariffs and non-tariff barriers impede U.S. food and agricultural exports to many countries. These countries include but are not limited to, major global markets such as China, India, Japan, Indonesia, and Turkey. Tariffs constrain American productivity and compound the disadvantage many of our exports face as our competitors negotiate new trade agreements with key markets around the world.
Tariff relief could not come at a more important time. Rural America and small businesses are facing significant challenges due to the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, logistical and supply chain disruptions, record levels of inflation, and the increasing impacts of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Our businesses are faced with surging fuel prices, skyrocketing fertilizer and other input costs, and continued uncertainty in the global market. 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.
U.S. food and agriculture appreciates your efforts and the work of Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Raimondo, to negotiate the lifting of the Section 232 and retaliatory tariffs with Europe, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Those endeavors have provided real assistance to portions of the U.S. food and agriculture economy. Nonetheless, there is much work left to do to fully restore America’s agricultural competitiveness and reestablish our access to critical export markets.
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. These efforts would have an immediate effect and would ease the uncertainty felt by all rural America.
We appreciate your consideration of these important issues. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly at [email protected].
American Association of Port Authorities
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Fruit & Vegetable Processors & Growers Coalition
American Seed Trade Association
American Soybean Association
Animal Health Institute
Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Corn Refiners Association
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative
Farmers for Free Trade
FMI – the Food Industry Association
Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
Global Cold Chain Alliance
International Fresh Produce Association
KCoe Isom, LLP
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Grain and Feed Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Restaurant Association
North American Meat Institute
Northwest Horticultural Council
Pet Food Institute
The Port of Virginia
Sweetener Users Association
U.S. Apple Association
U.S. Dairy Export Council
U.S. Grains Council
USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
William Westman & Associates LLC
cc: Secretary Raimondo; Secretary Vilsack