Soy Growers’ Advocacy Efforts Pay Off as Phosphate Fertilizer Duties Slashed

Nov 02, 2023

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced a significant reduction in duties on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco, decreasing them significantly from 19.97% to just 2.12%.

The American Soybean Association President Daryl Cates, a soybean farmer from Illinois, welcomed this news, stating, “The Commerce Department’s determination comes after years of engagement by the American Soybean Association in which the soy industry has voiced opposition to duties imposed on phosphate fertilizer imports. Soybean farmers across the country have made their voice heard: These tariffs on fertilizer have had a direct impact on the bottom line of farmers. We appreciate Commerce’s recognition of this impact and its subsequent lowering of duties, and we will continue to advocate against harmful tariffs.”

This issue traces back to a Commerce Department decision in 2020 that favored a petition by the U.S.-based Mosaic company to impose duties on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco and Russia. Mosaic contended that unfairly subsidized foreign companies were inundating the U.S. market with fertilizers, selling them at exceptionally low prices. ASA took action in March 2021, filing comments with the International Trade Commission to oppose duties being placed on phosphate imports from Morocco and Russia. These comments were submitted in collaboration with the National Corn Growers Association and the National Cotton Council. In response to these duties, ASA led other grower groups in an amicus brief to the Court of International Trade, requesting the CIT remand the duties on phosphate imports from Morocco back to ITC and Commerce for recalculation. That suit was remanded earlier this fall, and ASA awaits that reevaluation later this year.

In October of this year, ASA along with its 26 affiliated state soybean associations united with fellow stakeholders in U.S. agriculture to voice concerns regarding the impact of phosphate fertilizer duties. In a letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, these organizations underscored the necessity of reevaluating of these duties, emphasizing their broader implications for American farmers.