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International Trade Commission votes on biodiesel dumping dispute

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The International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted that unfairly dumped biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia have unfairly harmed US industry.

ITC voted 4 – 0 in favour of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition’s position that the industry has suffered because of the imports. According to NBB, the ITC decision means antidumping orders can be issued later in April.

“This vote today finalises the case to address the harm that unfair trade practices have had on the US biodiesel industry,” said Donnell Rehagen, chief executive of the NBB.

“Foreign producers dumping product into American markets below cost has undermined the jobs and environmental benefits that US biodiesel brings to the table. Establishing a level playing field for true competition in the market will allow the domestic industry the opportunity to work substantial under-utilised production capacity.”

The decision looks to draw to a close a long running controversy for the US biodiesel industry.

Between 2014 and 2016, biodiesel imports to the US from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464%, taking 18.3% of market share from US producers. Alleging that this surge in imports was the result of ‘dumping’ from Argentina and Indonesia, the NBB Fair Trade Coalition filed an antidumping and countervailing duties petition with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission in March 2017.


Meanwhile, across the Atlantic

A similar biodiesel dumping controversy has also hit Europe, although the outcome has so far been very different.

Since 2013 a dispute has been raging between the EU biodiesel industry, and Argentina and Indonesia over alleged biodiesel dumping. The EU placed anti-dumping duties on biodiesel imports from the two countries, but legal challenges from the European Court of Justice and the World Trade Organisation have since seen those anti-dumping duties lifted.

In March, a major biodiesel production facility in Mainz, Germany, announced it was temporarily ceasing production. The statement announcing the temporary shutdown pointed to an influx of imported biodiesel “impacting profitability for European-based producers”.