Opposing duties on phosphate fertilizers.
American farmers are the most productive in the world, producing food to feed our families and people across the globe. Key to their productivity is their smart and sustainable use of fertilizers to increase their crop yields. Now their reliable and affordable access to phosphate fertilizers is threatened.
The Mosaic Company, the second largest phosphate fertilizer producer in the world, filed a petition in June with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and International Trade Commission (USITC) asking for an investigation into imports from certain countries and seeking the imposition of heavy duties (tariffs) on those imports.
The U.S. Department of Commerce made a final decision to impose duties of 19.97% on Moroccan phosphate fertilizers. It also imposed duties on Russian imports. The USITC continues to investigate and will make a determination in March. But if substantial final duties are imposed, critical sources of imported supply could be shut out of the U.S. market and Mosaic could gain a near-monopoly over phosphate fertilizer supply in America.
In fact, Mosaic already controls over 74% of American phosphate fertilizer production. Mosaic’s petition is an attempt to increase their already enormous market power. With imports from key producing countries shut out, Mosaic alone likely wouldn’t be able to meet the demand of U.S. farmers, who are already struggling to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy.
Phosphorus is an essential and irreplaceable element in all plant, animal and human life and phosphorus-rich fertilizers are critical to farm productivity. Given that the average grower allots nearly 15% of their entire budget to fertilizer alone, reduced supply and increased costs for this vital nutrient could seriously hurt American farmers.
Farmers are already struggling. Agricultural products have faced year-after-year of falling prices, while investment and input costs keep rising. Despite the current administration’s infusion of $33 billion in aid, farmers will continue to struggle with profitability. And on top of it all, if Mosaic succeeds in forcing key major importers out of the market, American farmers could lose the ability to even find sufficient fertilizer to buy in the first place.
Permanently placing duties on imported phosphate fertilizer would further increase costs — making American crops less competitive in global export markets and putting American farmers at a disadvantage.
Countless elected officials and organizations are speaking out and expressing opposition to the petition:
The Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission are expected to make a final determination April 1, 2021.
The impact of this decision could be felt for years to come. Anyone who supports a diverse and reliable supply chain for farmers should be outraged by this attempt to limit supply and increase costs. American farmers deserve the opportunity to choose their preferred fertilizers to grow their crops, feed their fellow Americans and compete with farmers around the globe.