In a major victory for American farmers, the U.S. International Trade Commission has rejected a petition from fertilizer giant CF Industries to place tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers imports from Russia, Trinidad and Tobago.
The surprised announcement serves as a glimmer of good news for farmers who have dealt with skyrocketing fertilizer prices for more than a year, said Theresa Sisung, MFB industry relations specialist.
“Fertilizer manufacturers continue to post record profits while farmers face record fertilizer prices,” Sisung said. “The ITC’s denial of this petition sends a strong message to fertilizer giants that are looking to make even more money through tariffs: Enough is enough.”
Shortages and prices for UAN have increased exponentially since CF Industries requested the tariffs in late 2021, according to the National Corn Growers Association, which celebrated Monday’s ITC announcement.
“This comes as a welcome relief,” NCGA 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. I am so glad they listened.”
The American Soybean Association also applauded the announcement, noting that few inputs have exhibited more price inflation than UAN, which has experienced a jarringly high price increase due in large part to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Those two countries are important crop and energy producers, as well as producers of fertilizers and fertilizer input products — including natural gas for UAN.
CF Industries released a statement saying they are disappointed, citing an investigation from the U.S. Department of Commerce they claim showed Russia, Trinadad and Tobago dumping and unfairly subsidizing imports.
“We are disappointed that the International Trade Commission has determined the U.S. UAN industry has not been harmed by the unfair trade practices from state-subsidized entities underpinning UAN imports from Russia and Trinidad that were clearly established through thorough and impartial investigations by the U.S. government,” said Tony Will, president and CEO of CF Industries Holdings Inc.
“Unfortunately, this outcome will perpetuate an unlevel playing field for a domestic industry that has invested billions of dollars in the U.S. to ensure American farmers have a reliable source of UAN fertilizer.”