Jun. 26, 2019
Proposed actions to impose new tariffs on China will hurt U.S. farmers and consumers was the key message delivered today by CropLife America (CLA) CEO Chris Novak in front of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Section 301 Panel. As currently proposed at 25 percent, the new List 4 tariffs would increase costs several hundred million dollars per year that would impact CLA members, farmers and consumers.
"While we appreciate the Administration's willingness to undertake tough measures to discourage trade practices that disadvantage our industry, we believe these proposed tariffs will have immediate, negative effects on farmers, consumers, and our members. After the Administration imposed tariffs last September on certain agrochemicals, the producer price index for these products skyrocketed," stated Novak.
Many of the chemicals covered by the proposed tariffs are not produced in the U.S., and it is not easy to resource these products. All new sources for pesticide active ingredients used in the U.S. market are subject to a time-consuming Environmental Protection Agency clearance process. Due to the limited existing capacity outside of China, and the difficulties of bringing new sources online, it is inevitable that the additional tariffs will increase the prices of critical tools for U.S. farmers.
Novak, who testified on behalf of CLA and RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment), added, "Beyond our farm customers, these tariffs will also impact nurseries, lawn and garden companies, and consumers who rely upon our products to protect their homes and businesses. The burden of these tariffs will fall disproportionately on the shoulders of American farmers, businesses, and consumers without truly advancing the cause of free and fair trade."
CLA is working with its partners in the agricultural community to reach out to members of Congress and officials at USTR to help communicate the impact the proposed tariffs will have on farmers across the U.S.