As part of a coalition of 18 agricultural groups, the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) is urging Congress to renew legislation that would reduce import tariffs on crop inputs.
In a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, the coalition said: "American farmers and ranchers stand to lose the most if no action is taken" on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). Certain import tariffs included in the bill are "counterproductive to modern agriculture."
Analysis by the coalition estimates that half of the MTB package is targeted toward agricultural products.
The MTB is a collection of hundreds of individual pieces of legislation that temporarily lowers taxes on imported resources and materials. It must be renewed every two or three years.
The previous MTB expired Jan. 1, 2013. The letter was sent as members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees consult on MTB and other trade bills that are expected to move early next year.
"We support efforts by the crop input industry to provide us with continuously improved pest-control tools at affordable prices," the letter stated. "Reduction of import tariffs on their pesticides, active ingredients, and intermediate chemicals is an important aspect of congressional support of modern agriculture."