Argentina speaks out against EU biodiesel duties, preps WTO case

By Ron Kotrba | October 24, 2013

After an EU antidumping committee recommended imposing higher, definitive duties on imports of Argentine biodiesel, Argentina’s Foreign Ministry is seeking immediate action from the World Trade Organization under the Dispute Settlement Understanding. The ministry says the duties were imposed “without a justified legal and factual basis,” and are “clearly protectionist in nature.”

Provisional duties on Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel have been in place for months, but definitive duties, said to be higher than the provisional tariffs, are expected to be in place by end of November.

The duties “leave no option for Argentina than immediate action under the Dispute Settlement Understanding of the WTO, as soon as it is enforced, so as to ensure the production, foreign sales and jobs generated in our country for the sector,” Argentina’s Foreign Ministry stated in an Oct. 22 press release. “Argentina is currently one of the most efficient biodiesel producers globally. The European industry, in contrast, is widely oversized, with companies that in general do not have quality ingredients, do not have adequate production scale and lack of vertical integration necessary to be competitive globally.”

In 2011 and 2012 combined, Argentina exported 982.8 million gallons of biodiesel, half of which was exported to Spain alone, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. The European Biodiesel Board, which initiated the investigation, insists Argentina’s differential export taxes, which incentivize exportation of biodiesel versus raw soybean oil, allow for dumping at a cost lower than European producers can compete with. 


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