DOJ launches supply chain antitrust initiative

The Department of Justice is launching an initiative to deter, detect, and prosecute companies that exploit supply chain disruptions to engage in anticompetitive conduct.

Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley tells Brownfield he’s written several letters to the DOJ as farmers face record-high input prices.

“For instance, the company that’s got (I think) 82 percent of the control of the phosphorous, and then whether or not there’s some antitrust problems there or have been some antitrust problems.”

Jonathan Kanter with the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division says they will not allow companies to collude in order to overcharge consumers under the guise of supply chain disruptions.

Grassley says he’s also concerned about the cost of fertilizer going up because of tariffs.

“So we’ve written to the department and the special trade representative to look into taking these tariffs down because somebody that’s got 82 percent of the market, doesn’t seem to me they need to be protected from tariffs. We need more competition not less competition.”

Last March, the Mosaic Company won a phosphate countervailing duty case against Russia and Morocco.  The National Corn Growers Association has criticized the leading fertilizer producer, saying “the company’s monopoly is creating serious problems for farmers.”

The Mosaic Company refutes the claims, saying phosphate imports have been coming into the U.S. at record levels.  

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