The U.S. Department of Commerce Oct. 23 announced a preliminary determination regarding biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, finding biodiesel is being dumped into the United States at below fair-market value. As a result, biodiesel importers will be required to pay cash deposits to the U.S. government on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia at a rate equal to the dumping margins. This is Commerce’s latest trade action relating to biodiesel. In August 2017, Commerce made a preliminary determination in a countervailing duty case that found Argentina and Indonesia unfairly subsidize their production of biodiesel. A final determination in the countervailing duty case is expected in early November.
According to a statement from Commerce, preliminary dumping rates were found to range from 54.36 percent to 70.05 percent for biodiesel imports from Argentina and were found to be 50.71 percent for biodiesel imports from Indonesia. The preliminary determination is expected to be published in the Federal Register as early as Thursday and will specify the date on which importers become liable for the preliminary antidumping duties. A final ruling by Commerce is expected on Jan. 3, 2018, with a final determination by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to follow within 45 days.
Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the Department is working with the Government of Argentina on a potential deal on its biodiesel exports. “We are thankful to the Government of Argentina for their proactive approach to solving this issue, and remain optimistic that a negotiated solution can be reached both with Argentina and with Indonesia,” Secretary Ross said in a statement.
NATSO is troubled by Commerce’s preliminary decision regarding biodiesel imports, which will not only impede access to cleaner-burning biodiesel produced abroad but will also disrupt the Renewable Fuel Standard, threatening our members’ ability to satisfy advanced biofuel mandates established by the Environmental Protection Agency every year. In addition, the cash deposits required on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia could generate a surge in domestic biodiesel prices, which will, in turn, result in higher retail prices for diesel fuel. When this occurs, it will cost more to ship products across the country, which will result in higher prices for consumer goods moved by truck.
Further information on the trade cases will be provided as it arises. A fact sheet on the antidumping duty determination is available here.
Photo credit: Bigstock
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