NBB on US negotiations with Argentina: Market distortion must end

By The National Biodiesel Board | October 31, 2017

Ahead of a meeting Nov. 1 between the U.S. and Argentine governments on biodiesel imports, the National Biodiesel Board’s CEO Donnell Rehagen issued the following statement:

“From the beginning, the U.S. biodiesel industry has expressed a willingness to work out our differences with the government of Argentina—but the market distortion has to end. The primary issues that led to the coalition filing the case were the differential export taxes (DETs), which distort the market here in the United States, and dumped prices. When the government of Argentina meets with U.S. officials tomorrow regarding these biodiesel import cases, they have an opportunity to show real progress on ending these harmful DETs and eliminating the dumping. Absent that, there’s nothing for us to look at or to negotiate.”

The NBB is one of the members of the NBB Fair Trade Coalition. Last week, the coalition won a preliminary antidumping determination from the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding dumped biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The commerce department found that biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia are sold into the U.S. below fair value, and they imposed preliminary duties on imports from these countries based on the amount of dumping found.

As a result of the commerce department’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 percent for biodiesel from Argentina, and 50.71 percent for biodiesel from Indonesia, depending on the particular foreign producer/exporter involved. Cash deposit requirements will be imposed starting Oct. 31, now that the preliminary determination has been published in the Federal Register. The duty deposit requirements are in addition the deposits required pursuant to the commerce department’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 in March to address a flood of subsidized 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 percent from 2014 to 2016, taking 18.3 percentage points of market share from U.S. manufacturers. Imports of biodiesel from Argentina again jumped 144.5 percent 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 antidumping determination due early next year. A final determination in the companion countervailing duty determination is due to be announced in early November, with a final determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission connection with the countervailing duty case expected in December.  


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