United States declines to impose tariffs on fertilizer imports
On July 18, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) determined that a U.S. industry is not harmed by imports of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizers from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago.
The USITC is a federal agency that provides analysis of international trade issues to Congress and the president. Based on the USITC determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce will not issue tariffs on imports of UAN from Russia and Trinidad & Tobago, according to a USITC press release.
The USITC determination was welcomed by multiple farm organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), in light of recent sharp increases of fertilizer costs to U.S. farmers.
“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,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Skyrocketing supply costs are already forcing some farmers into the red. The cost of fertilizer increased more than 60% from 2021 to 2022 and that’s not sustainable.”
AFBF, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association and others wrote letters to the USITC urging the agency to reject the tariffs.
“This comes as a welcome relief,” National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington said in a statement. “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.”
On July 15, AFBF also submitted comments on USDA’s “Request for Information on Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns.”
AFBF listed several factors that have combined to create shortages and drive up fertilizer costs including the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, rising inflation, labor shortages, regulatory hurdles and increased transportation costs.
AFBF’s recommendations included:
• Providing assistance to farmers to expand on-site farm fertilizer storage capacity to help them manage costs throughout the year;
• Urging EPA to seek reforms to review processes that create barriers for domestic fertilizer production;
• Modernizing weight restrictions for trucks to reduce the number of trucks needed to transport goods;
• Enact rail reforms to promote rail competition, fair rates and reliable service.
Read the full comments here.