Monday, May 30, 2022

U.S. farmers ask for lifting of tariffs

 Forty farm organizations have written to United States President Joe Biden's administration, asking him to lift import tariffs in return to gaining more access to agricultural export markets. 


It seems the letter is particularly aimed at tariffs former president Donald Trump imposed on China, beginning with steel and aluminum and then expanding to a long list of commodities. China responded with tariffs on U.S. commodities and products.


In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Farmers for Free Trade, an agriculture trade advocacy group, said that doing so would “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.”


The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in early May began a review of Section 301 tariffs on more than $370 billion of Chinese goods. Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 allows USTR to enforce U.S. rights under trade agreements and address unfair foreign barriers to U.S. exports.


Because Section 232 tariffs remain on Chinese steel, U.S. pork continues to face a 25 per cent retaliatory duty on product going to China.


Lifting the pork tariff would have mixed results for Canadian hog producers. It would increase competition for China's market, but an increase in U.S. pork exports would bolster hog prices in both Canada and the U.S.