U.S. trade commission rejects fertilizer duties
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday voted to reject steep duties on ammonium nitrate fertilizers from Trinidad and Tobago and Russia, going against a recommendation for tariffs from the Commerce Department.
Last year, CF Industries, an Illinois fertilizer-maker, filed a petition accusing producers in Trinidad and Tobago and Russia of engaging in unfair competition by “dumping” or selling urea ammonium nitrate solutions at below-market prices.
After an investigation, the Commerce Department in June recommended duties of up to 113.5 percent on imports of the fertilizers from Trinidad and Tobago and 132.6 percent on these imports from Russia. In 2021, the U.S. imported more than $262.6 million in ammonium nitrate fertilizers from Russia and $231 million from Trinidad and Tobago, according to the Department of Commerce.
But in the new ruling, the International Trade Commission found that U.S. producers have not been injured by these imports.
Industry groups opposed the duties, arguing that they would raise prices for farmers as they are struggling with fertilizer price spikes and shortages due to the war in Ukraine.
“This comes as a welcome relief,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington in a statement. “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.”
Meanwhile, Tony Will, the president and CEO of CF Industries said the ruling “will perpetuate an unlevel playing field for a domestic industry that has invested billions of dollars in the U.S. to ensure American farmers have a reliable source of UAN fertilizer.”
The agriculture industry and its allies in Congress are also pressuring the Biden administration to waive duties on phosphate fertilizer from Morocco.