The United States Department of Commerce has ruled to impose a provisional anti-subsidy duty on ammonium sulfate imports from China. The ruling would impose a 206.72 percent tax on ammonium sulfate for nitrogen fertilizer as well as for other industrial uses. The deal will still need the approval of the International Trade Commission (ITC) which could be finalized in February 2017. The ITC will affirm the duty in February if the body finds that ammonium sulfate imports from China materially injure or threaten to materially injure ammonium sulfate produced in the United States.
According to the Commerce Department, imports of ammonium sulfate in 2015 totaled $62 million, and added that products like these had been sold in the U.S. at a margin of 493.46 percent, prompting PCI Nitrogen, LLC to also pursue an antidumping case on imports of Chinese ammonium sulfate. Meanwhile, it was discovered that exporters and manufacturers of ammonium sulfate in China had been privy to subsidies of 206.72 percent.
The measure is aimed at leveling the playing field for U.S. producers and importers of ammonium sulfate, but the result may be viewed by history as the first shot across the bow in what may be a contentious trade relationship between the Trump administration and China.