Last week, leaders from state corn organizations across the nation joined together in a letter to Mosaic Co., one of the nation’s largest fertilizer producers. The letter takes Mosaic to task for the tariffs that were imposed in March by the U.S. International Trade Commission at the fertilizer company’s behest. Fertilizer prices have since skyrocketed.
Texas Corn Producers Association President Charles Ring and Texas Corn Producers Board Chairman Robert Gordon signed the letter on behalf of the state’s corn farmers, joining fellow National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) affiliate state corn organizations.
The letter is in response to Mosaic erecting an insurmountable tariff barrier to keep its top competitors out of the U.S. market at the expense of America’s farmers.
“Mosaic’s posture to date has been a masterpiece of irresponsible corporate social responsibility,” the letter says.
The letter highlighted the stranglehold Mosaic has placed on its customers and suggested the company’s monopoly is creating serious problems for farmers.
“…only 15% of phosphorous imports now come into the U.S. without tariffs,” the letter notes. “And experts say that using Commerce and ITC to manipulate the supply curve does indeed dictate price to farmers.”
To illustrate their point, the signatories said estimates show that tariffs between 30% and 70% on phosphate imports would equate to roughly $480 to $640 million in added fertilizer bills on U.S. farmers.
The corn growers said that now is a good time for Mosaic to reverse course.
“We ask that you voluntarily withdraw your countervailing duties and allow critical supply back into the U.S. at a time of inadequate supplies and soaring phosphate prices,” they said.
In recent months, corn farmers and their respective organizations have sounded the alarm about the effects fertilizer tariffs are having on farmers. NCGA, along with other agricultural groups, submitted an amicus brief in November in a case filed in the U.S. Court of International Trade seeking to overturn the tariffs. A ruling in that case is not expected any earlier than the summer of 2022.
This is an issue TCPA is closely monitoring and working multiple angles to advocate for the state’s corn farmers’ interests.