US to lower duties on imports of phosphate fertilizers from Morocco

Green and blue; Sky and cornfield

The US Department of Commerce said on Thursday that it will reduce import duties on Moroccan phosphate fertilizers from 19.97% to 2.12%.

The decision, which has been welcomed by agricultural groups, comes after the department carried out a review of the countervailing duties that it imposed on Morocco’s OCP in 2021 in response to a petition from Mosaic.

The International Trade Commission, which is part of the Department of Commerce, had determined at the time that OCP was receiving unfair state subsidies, and that the resultant cheap imports from the kingdom were harming US industry.

However, as a result of recent volatility in the fertilizer market, both farmers and lawmakers have become increasingly vocal in their opposition to the duties.

The president of the National Corn Growers Association, which, alongside dozens of other groups, has campaigned against the measure, described Thursday’s announcement as a ‘victory’.

Harold Wolle said in a statement that ‘This . . . was made possible by corn growers across the country who spoke out against these duties as they faced skyrocketing fertilizer prices and product shortages at the behest of The Mosaic Company. While the best duty on fertilizers is no duty at all, we are nonetheless thrilled that corn growers bearing the brunt of these tariffs will feel financial relief thanks to this decision.’

Mosaic, for its part, issued a statement expressing disappointment in the decision and saying that it is considering its next steps. Its CEO, Joc O’Rourke, commented that ‘We at Mosaic expect and welcome fair competition all around the world . . . Our Moroccan competitor continues to enjoy the subsidies that led to the duties, and those subsidies provide a substantial unfair advantage.’

OCP, meanwhile, has welcomed the announcement, saying that there has never been any justification for the imposition of tariffs on its US fertilizer imports.

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