Farm groups on Thursday wrote the International Trade Commission hoping to officially end import duties on Moroccan phosphate fertilizer.
Ten national farm groups and dozens of their state affiliates signed on to a letter to the International Trade Commission (ITC) as they try to end two years of countervailing duties on phosphate fertilizer imported from Morocco.
In November, the Commerce Department agreed to lower the duties from 19.97% to 2.12% after "retroactively examining the price of shipments and other factors."
The ITC originally handed down its decision to slap countervailing duties in early 2021. Farmers have had to deal with higher phosphate prices ever since and will be rolling into their fourth crop year with some type of duty on Moroccan phosphate imports. U.S. farmers also now are limited in importing phosphate from Russia, which faces a 28.5% countervailing duty along with a lack of desire to buy Russian goods.
Harold Wolle, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Minnesota, also wrote a column for the website realclearpolicy.com highlighting some of the damage done by the Moroccan tariffs. Wolle pointed to a study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics citing that the countervailing duties on Moroccan phosphate increased U.S. phosphate prices roughly 34%.
"These duties have hit America's corn growers particularly hard. That's because, as an essential plant macronutrient for corn, phosphorus makes up about one-fifth of the total fertilizer applied to our products," Wolle stated in the column.
The ITC is set to have a decision on an appeal about the Moroccan phosphate imports by Dec. 13 that may force it to revise the countervailing duties.
Also see, "NCGA: Big Win as Commerce Department Lowers Import Duties on Phosphate From Morocco," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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