The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said today that it is deeply disappointed in a decision released by the International Trade Commission, which upholds an earlier opinion that found material injury to U.S. fertilizer companies during a time of rising on-farm fertilizer prices that went on to reach record highs.
The decision comes after the U.S. Court of International Trade asked the U.S. Department of Commerce and ITC to reconsider earlier decisions they issued on the matter.
“The idea that major fertilizer conglomerates were materially injured even as they were posting substantially higher profits during the time in question sounds dubious to me,” said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle. “ITC’s decision flies in the face of the U.S. Court of International Trade’s request to seriously reconsider this issue and ignores the negative impact these tariffs continue to have on America’s farmers who are facing higher prices for fertilizers that are critical to the success of their crops. We will continue to make a vigorous case for eliminating or lowering these tariffs.”
The ITC opinion upholds an earlier decision by the agency that the trade practices of a Moroccan-based company caused harm to U.S. fertilizer companies. The decision comes almost a week after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it was lowering duties on these products from 19.97% to 7.41%, and introduces uncertainty on the fate of tariffs as it could be used as an argument to keep tariffs on phosphate fertilizers high.
The U.S. Court of International Trade will now review the remand decisions and issue a final ruling. The Department of Commerce is also set to make another decision regarding its administrative review later this year.
Commerce and the ITC originally acted on a petition by The Mosaic Company, a U.S.-based fertilizer producer, which had requested the tariffs over what it called unfair trading practices. Over the past three years, NCGA has advocated for growers who were facing record-high phosphate prices by filing an amicus brief in the case, sending letters to the White House and federal agencies, and informing Members of Congress about the impact of the high prices on corn farmers.