The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced it was lowering duties placed on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco from 19.97% to 2.12%. The decision comes after the agency conducted an administrative review of the duties, which is performed annually by retroactively examining the price of shipments and other factors.
The National Corn Growers Association, which has been vocal opponent of the duties, applauded the decision, calling it a big win for corn growers.
“This victory was made possible by corn growers across the country who spoke out against these duties as they faced skyrocketing fertilizer prices and product shortages at the behest of The Mosaic Company,” said NCGA President Harold Wolle. “While the best duty on fertilizers is no duty at all, we are nonetheless thrilled that corn growers bearing the brunt of these tariffs will feel financial relief thanks to this decision.”
The issue stems from a decision by Commerce in 2020 that favored a petition by the U.S.-based Mosaic to impose duties on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco and Russia. Mosaic had claimed that unfairly subsidized foreign companies were flooding the U.S. market with fertilizers and selling the products at extremely low prices.
Soon after the decision, NCGA launched an aggressive campaign that called on Commerce to reverse the decision and for Mosaic to withdraw its request for tariffs. Over the past three years, NCGA has led the charge to raise concerns by filing an amicus brief, sending a letter to the White House, and informing Members of Congress about the impact.
In October of this year, the National Corn Growers Association – along with 62 other agricultural groups, including state corn grower organizations – sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo calling on her to consider the current difficulties faced by farmers as she recalculates duties on phosphate fertilizer imported from Morocco. That letter and previous actions by corn growers culminated in today’s decision.
In a separate matter, in September, Commerce was ordered by the U.S. Court of International Trade to reconsider the duty rate calculation because of flaws found in Commerce’s analysis. A decision on that matter is expected on Dec. 13.