USA – A group of US senators and representatives have addressed a letter to US President Joe Biden, asking his administration to lower import duties on phosphate fertilizers sourced from Morocco’s OCP group.
According to Morocco News, on Wednesday, a bipartisan letter from 35 politicians led by Senators Jerry Moran, Roger Marshall, and Representatives Tracey Mann and Jim Costa called on the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) Secretary Gina Raimondo to review import duties on phosphate fertilizers from Morocco.
“We ask that Commerce carefully consider and follow the U.S. Court of International Trade’s (CIT) decision in Commerce’s recalculation of the subsidy amount, both in its final determination in the investigation and its administrative review,” the politicians wrote in the letter.
According to their plea, reducing the subsidy rate would provide welcomed relief for U.S. farm suppliers and their customers, American family farms.
In 2021, the US International Trade Commission, the country’s foreign trade watchdog, slapped 20% import fees on OCP fertilizers following a lawsuit by American producer Mosaic.
Mosaic had argued that OCP’s products are unfairly price-competitive as they benefit from state subsidies.
This is not the first time US politicians have raised the alarm on the effect of import duties on the fertilizers market.
In August last year, US lawmaker and Iowa Attorney General, Tom Miller, joined farmers’ unions in calling the White House to waive tariffs on Moroccan fertilizers.
Miller called on President Biden’s administration to intervene to suspend tariffs on imported fertilizers to counter the effect of soaring fertilizer prices.
In a joint statement with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, and the National Corn Growers Association, Miller called for either reducing or suspending tariffs on Moroccan-made fertilizers, according to multiple reports.
Miller cited a study he commissioned from Iowa State University to assess the global fertilizer market.
The study notably concluded that while many factors contributed to the recent rise in the price of crops, rising fertilizer prices are the primary reason as the average price of fertilizers has quadrupled since September 2020.
“It’s critical that the President act as soon as possible, as growers begin purchasing fertilizer in preparation for the 2023 growing season,” Miller said in the joint statement with farmers’ unions. “These farmers have already suffered enough.”