Morocco’s OCP group to continue supplying fertilizers to US farmers
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) earlier this week rendered a decision that will result in the application of a 19.97% countervailing duty on phosphate fertilizer imports from Morocco.
“Despite this decision, OCP recognizes the supply challenges that American farmers face and is determined to serve them in the future, and will explore the most appropriate options to do so,” OCP said in a press release.
This decision comes despite the arguments presented by the OCP Group demonstrating that there is no basis for such duties, and although significant voices opposed the petition of the Mosaic company, OCP’s competitor. The opposing voices came from across American agriculture – distributors, associations and cooperatives – and elected officials in the Senate and House of Representatives.
This decision is the culmination of a process initiated by the US Department of Commerce in June 2020, in response to a petition filed with the Department and the US International Trade Commission (ITC) by The Mosaic Company, requesting the imposition of countervailing duties against OCP of more than 70%.
The US Department of Commerce announced early February its final decision to impose countervailing duties of 19,97% on US imports of Moroccan phosphate fertilizers, a decision upheld this March by the US International Trade Commission.
In a recent comment on the case, the news outlet Morocco world News said the reason for the DOC decision is being questioned as a matter of undue influence by Mosaic’s intense lobbying efforts, noting that in 2020 alone, the Mosaic group spent over a quarter of a million dollars in lobbying on just one super-PAC, called “Americans for Prosperity Action.”
This dark money political action committee funds right-wing politicians, including the senators of Mosaic’s home state Florida.
Responding to Mosaic’s request means actually granting the company a protectionist domestic monopoly for the hundreds of thousands of dollars it has spent on lobbying, while ignoring the interests of American farmers as their essential fertilizers will see significant price increases, the news outlet added.
Excluding the world’s largest phosphate producing country that holds over two-thirds of the world’s phosphate reserves undermines free markets. More still, it hurts American farmers –all in order to please and boost the morale of an inefficient local phosphate producer, the news outlet commented further.