The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Monday that imports of urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago are not harming U.S. producers of the product, ending the threat of stiff duties on imports and evoking relief from U.S. growers.

“This comes as a welcome relief,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “We have been sounding the alarms and telling the ITC commissioners that tariffs will drive up input prices to even more unaffordable levels for farmers and cripple our supply. I am so glad they listened.”

American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle also welcomed the news. 

“ASA has expressed concerns with fertilizer prices and availability for over a year,” Doyle said. “Today’s ruling by the ITC against the imposition of final duties on imports of UAN from Trinidad and Tobago and Russia will provide much-needed relief from tariffs for U.S. soybean growers and farmers across the country. We thank the ITC for considering the impact on farmers in their determination, and ASA will continue to advocate for the removal of tariffs.”

The ruling marks a reversal in the process that appeared to be heading towards the application of duties. The Commerce Department ruled last month that Russia and Trinidad and Tobago had been unfairly subsidizing exports of urea ammonium nitrate, or UAN. The final step before subsidies could be placed on the imports was the final ITC decision.

Up until the Monday announcement, it appeared that the ITC was heading towards a decision that would support the import duties. The ITC, in its preliminary ruling on the matter about a year ago, found that U.S. industries – like original petitioner CF Industries Holdings, Inc. – were likely being “materially injured” by UAN imports from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago.

CF Industries President and CEO Tony Will, speaking after that first ITC ruling in August 2021, said, “The preliminary ITC decision is an important step towards leveling the playing field for U.S. UAN producers and their workers.”

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Will warned at the time that if this case were ultimately rejected, imports would come flooding back into the country.

Farm groups like NCGA hope that's the case because of the high prices being paid by their members.

Those imports dried up even though duties were never actually set because the U.S. began collecting cash deposits months ago in preparation for the eventual final rulings.

Russia and Trinidad and Tobago supplied more than 80% of U.S. imports of UAN fertilizer, according to an analysis released by the American Farm Bureau Federation in July 2021. That year, according to ITC data, the U.S. imported about $540 million worth of UAN from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago.

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