US Department of Commerce imposes preliminary anti-dumping duties on Argentine, Indonesian biodiesel

The US Department of Commerce has imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia ranging from around 50 to 70%. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition is claiming victory on the news.

The Commerce Department found that biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia are sold into the United States below fair value, and they imposed preliminary duties on imports from these countries based on the amount of dumping found.

“It is reassuring with each decision that the Commerce Department is reviewing the data and facts at face value. The law is clear, and violations of trade law shouldn’t be ignored at the expense of the livelihoods of thousands of Americans employed or affected by biodiesel,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board.

As a result of Commerce’s ruling, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will be required to pay cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries. The cash deposit rates range from 54.36 to 70.05% for biodiesel from Argentina, and 50.71% for biodiesel from Indonesia, depending on the particular foreign producer/exporter involved.

Cash deposit requirements will be imposed when this preliminary determination is published in the Federal Register sometime next week. The duty deposit requirements are in addition the deposits required pursuant to Commerce’s preliminary countervailing duty determination in August, which confirmed that biodiesel producers in Argentina and Indonesia have received massive subsidies.

The NBB Fair Trade Coalition filed these petitions to address a flood of subsidised and dumped imports from Argentina and Indonesia that has resulted in market share losses and depressed prices for domestic producers.

Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464% from 2014 to 2016, taking 18.3% points of market share from US manufacturers. Imports of biodiesel from Argentina again jumped 144.5% following the filing of the petitions. These surging, low-priced imports prevented producers from earning adequate returns on their substantial investments and caused U.S. producers to pull back on further investments to serve a growing market.

Between the preliminary and final antidumping determinations, the Commerce Department will audit the foreign producers to confirm the accuracy of their data submissions.

Parties will file briefs on issues arising from the agency’s preliminary antidumping duty determinations, and the Commerce Department will hold a hearing, with a final anti-dumping determination due early next year.

A final determination by the Commerce Department in the companion countervailing duty determination is due to be announced in early November, with a final determination by the International Trade Commission connection with the countervailing duty case expected in December.

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