CITAC: INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION'S REJECTION
Washington, DC - Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) Executive Director Janet Kopenhaver said today that the International Trade Commission's (ITC) recent unanimous decision that imports of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine do not materially injure U.S. producers "is good news for American farmers."
The ITC case was the third antidumping case since 1999 that U.S. fertilizer producers filed against imports of nitrogen fertilizers - UAN is one type of fertilizer used by many American farmers. An affirmative injury vote would have resulted in duties ranging from 76% to 327% on UAN imports from the three subject countries, and would have locked out needed imports from the market.
"The ITC looked at all the evidence and made a logical decision. UAN imports are vital to American farmers and to the U.S. market as a whole," continued Kopenhaver.
For over a year, the Committee for Competitive Fertilizer Markets, a group of concerned farmers, fertilizer dealers and others, vigorously opposed the antidumping investigation. They argued that, following the hike in natural gas prices in 2000 and early 2001, U.S. producers significantly reduced UAN production, told farmers and others to look elsewhere for UAN supplies, and then blamed the resulting profit crunch on "cheap imports" - which they later attempted to exclude from entering the U.S. with an antidumping investigation.
The ITC Commissioners confirmed these facts in their written decision: "The increase in subject imports came at a time of domestic production curtailments due to unusually high natural gas prices." The Commissioners also noted that "U.S. natural gas prices in 2003 are once again at high levels and domestic producers have once again announced production cutbacks."
Laura Baughman, Executive Director of the Committee said, "The ITC recognized that the price of imported UAN actually exceeded the price of U.S.-produced UAN and that it was the increased natural gas prices, not imports, that caused domestic producers financial losses. The Committee joined CITAC to help get that message through to policy makers. Today, the Committee and American farmers are all pleased that the Commissioners thoroughly reviewed the evidence and came to the correct decision."
Baughman added that U.S. consuming industries need imports such as UAN, along with many other products, to keep supply markets competitive. Irresponsible use of antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings can do serious damage to America's farmers and manufacturers.
CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of American firms.