Kansas Growers, Sen. Moran, Rep. Mann, Led Effort to Lower Phosphate Fertilizer Duties

Corn growers received good news Thursday as the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it was lowering duties placed on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco from 19.97% to 2.12%. The decision comes after the agency conducted an administrative review of the duties, which is performed annually by retroactively examining the price of shipments and other factors. Leaders from the Kansas Corn Growers Association (KCGA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), who have been vocal opponents of the duties, applauded the decision, calling it a big win for corn growers.

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran and Kansas Representative Tracey Mann led a bicameral letter on phosphate fertilizer imports from Morocco.  National Corn Growers Association led a similar letter among commodity organizations, which Kansas Corn Growers Association signed on to. These letters were instrumental in bringing this issue to the forefront with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“We are thankful for the strong actions of Senator Moran and Congressman Mann on this issue that is of great importance to Kansas farmers,” Kansas Corn CEO Josh Roe said. “This is a very positive development that is at least in part due to the attention brought to the issue by farmers and our congressional leaders. Tariffs on phosphate fertilizer imports has been a big concern and has a direct impact on input prices.”

The issue stems from a decision by Commerce in 2020 that favored a petition by the U.S.-based Mosaic to impose duties on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco and Russia. Mosaic had claimed that unfairly subsidized foreign companies were flooding the U.S. market with fertilizers and selling the products at extremely low prices.

Soon after the decision, NCGA launched an aggressive campaign that called on Commerce to reverse the decision and for Mosaic to withdraw its request for tariffs. Over the past three years, NCGA has led the charge to raise concerns by filing an amicus brief, sending a letter to the White House, and informing Members of Congress about the impact.

In October, the National Corn Growers Association – along with 62 other agricultural groups, including state corn grower organizations – sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo calling on her to consider the current difficulties faced by farmers as she recalculates duties on phosphate fertilizer imported from Morocco. That letter and previous actions by corn growers culminated in today’s decision.

In a separate matter, in September, Commerce was ordered by the U.S. Court of International Trade to reconsider the duty rate calculation because of flaws found in Commerce’s analysis. A decision on that matter is expected on Dec. 13.