Increased Tariffs on Fertilizer Imports Rejected by ITC

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Industry

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has rejected a proposal to increase tariffs on fertilizer imports from Russia, Trinidad, and Tobago. A petition had been brought forth by CF Industries to place higher duties on imports of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer. The ITC vote negates the Commerce Department ruling that found Russia, Trinidad, and Tobago were unfairly subsidizing exports of UAN. Farm groups have expressed appreciation for the ITC’s decision, as fertilizer prices are already causing significant strain on the agriculture industry.

Fertilizer Imports

“AFBF is pleased the U.S. International Trade Commission did as we asked by rejecting the Commerce Department’s proposal to impose tariffs on imports of UAN, a key fertilizer,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a news release. “We appreciate the commission’s recognition that adding unnecessary import costs would have made it difficult for farmers to access an affordable supply of this crucial nutrient at a time when America’s farmers are being called on to meet growing demand here at home and abroad.”

Had the ITC affirmed the ruling of the Commerce Department, duties on fertilizer would have increased up to 132 percent on Russian UAN. Duties would have also increased on imports from Trinidad and Tobago by as much as 113 percent. AFBF had previously sent a letter to the ITC highlighting the potential damage that further increases in fertilizer costs would have on agriculture. UAN prices have already increased 62 percent between 2021 and 2022. An AFBF analysis indicates that Russia, Trinidad, and Tobago account for 79 percent of UAN fertilizer imports. The American Soybean Association and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) were also among those in support of the ITC decision.

“This comes as a welcome relief,” said NCGA 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.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West