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U.S. and Russia: Phosphate Import Duties

Agricultural groups speak out against proposed phosphate tariffs.

In a letter sent to the U.S. International Trade Commission on February 17, 2021, the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, and National Cotton Council joined forces to speak out regarding claims made by the Mosaic Co. – a phosphate and potash minerals mining company – that subsidized Moroccan and Russian phosphate fertilizer imports benefit from countervailable subsidies and are at an unfair competitive advantage.

“While many row crop farmers have observed recent increases in fertilizer prices with concern, the greater problem caused by Mosaic’s petition is that these duties are adversely impacting availability of phosphate fertilizer in the United States. Additionally, these duties reduce competition and choice available to farmers in the U.S. marketplace.” 

– Excerpt from the letter sent to the U.S. International Trade Commission

Read the full letter here. 

However, on March 11th, 2021, the U.S. International Trade Commission reviewed these allegations and ruled in favor of Mosaic – clearing the way for an investigation into implementing duties on phosphate imports.  

The Impact of Phosphate Import Duties on U.S. Farmers

Prior to this ruling, several foreign companies had already halted shipping to the U.S. prior to the decision to avoid paying duties without reimbursement. Now that Mosaic’s claims are confirmed, this decision could lead to a decline in competition and availability of phosphorus fertilizer for American farmers, consequently creating higher input costs and straining crop production rates. Ben Pratt, senior vice president of government and public affairs at The Mosaic Company, says that rather than the ruling impacting the price of phosphate, it would instead encourage fair trade and stability for American-produced phosphate.

However, according to a report published in July 2021 by the American Farm Bureau Federation, fertilizer is projected to increase as much as 18.9 percent for select commodities from 2018 to 2022. The impact of phosphate tariffs on rising input costs for American farmers is an important piece of the investigation that must be factored in throughout the course of this investigation.

As an advocate for the thriving future of American agriculture, AgAmerica is committed to standing with our nation’s farmers and providing insight into the latest legislative developments through our trade and legislation page.

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