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Congressman Roger Marshall

Representing the 1st District of Kansas

Marshall discusses tariffs and exclusion process with KS Ag equipment company

June 20, 2018
Press Release

SOUTH HUTCHINSON, KAN – Congressman Roger Marshall met with employees at Shield Ag Equipment to discuss the impact of the steel and aluminum tariffs.

Shield Ag, based out of South Hutchinson, Kan., designs, manufactures and distributes tools and hardware blades for tillage equipment. The pieces are distributed to more than 2,000 distributors and dealers across the United States and nine foreign countries. Shield Ag owner Mike Bergmeier spoke with Congressman Marshall about the harmful effects the steel and aluminum tariffs are having on his business and the resulting impact on Kansas farmers.

“It will never be made in the United States. No way. [The tariffs] will never incentivize someone to enter the market,” Bergmeier said of the specialty steel used to make his V-blades.

The 25-percent tariffs, which will officially hit his business this week, will cost farmers five cents more per-acre, a financial burden farmers cannot shoulder right now.

“These tariffs on our allies are not sustainable, in Kansas we see this with ag equipment companies like Shield Ag, our aviation industry, and our producers who suffer from retaliatory actions against our products. I want everyone to know I hear their concerns loud and clear and I have expressed them directly with the Administration,” Rep. Marshall said.

The taxes are not only hurting farmers directly by limiting markets for their products but also creates financial burdens by making the products and equipment they use more expensive.

“Last Thursday, I met with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to highlight the concerns that my producers and manufacturers have expressed with me in regards to these tariffs. Sec. Ross acknowledged my concerns and, as a solution, pointed to the exclusions process.  But given that more than 18,000 requests have been filed, I have serious concerns about its effectiveness at a time like this,” Rep. Marshall said.  

Bergmeier has applied for an exemption from the tariff as purchasing the steel domestically is not an option since it's only manufactured in Manitoba, Canada. The request has not yet been approved or denied.

“The consumers are going to pay for it in the end; It’s painful,” Bergmeier said.

Congressman Marshall has been hosting roundtable discussions with members of the Big First that have been impacted by the tariffs, and those businesses who are working through the exclusions process.