The U.S. Court of International Trade has agreed to take into consideration arguments by five major U.S. farm groups against a decision this year by the U.S. International Trade Commission to allow tariffs to be placed on phosphate fertilizer imports from Morocco and Russia.
The National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Cotton Council, National Sorghum Producers and the Agricultural Retailers Association filed a legal brief earlier this month to support the Moroccan fertilizer producer OCP as it appeals the ITC decision.
“The tariffs have created a financial hardship for farmers.” NCGA President Chris Edgington said. “Another year of shortages and tariffs will be devastating.”
But the Commerce Department and the ITC have both issued decisions supporting claims by the U.S. phosphate fertilizer giant Mosaic Company, which originally asked for an investigation into unfairly subsidized imports from Morocco and Russia.
Before the ITC decision in March, the Commerce Department set the levels for the final countervailing duty rates of 19.97% on imports from Moroccan producer OCP, 47.05% on Russian producers PhosAgro and EuroChem and 17.2% on all other Russian producers.
The U.S. imported about $730 million worth of phosphate fertilizer from Morocco and $300 million from Russia in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
NCGA’s Edgington, in a statement released this week, asked Mosaic to reverse course.
“Executives at Mosaic can remove this financial burden by withdrawing the petition,” he said. “We invite them to do just that.”
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