US slaps tariffs on Argentine biodiesel imports

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Friday, November 10, 2017

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a final determination in the countervailing duty investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

The DOC determined that both countries are providing unfair subsidies to their producers of biodiesel, and will impose tariffs on importers of the fuel.

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The decision was expected after the DOC in October issued provisional antidumping duties on Argentine biodiesel imports.

Argentina's subsidies on biodiesel range between 71.45% and 72.28%, and the country's sales of biodiesel in the US were valued at an estimated US$1.2bn in 2016, according to the DOC.

"The unfair government subsidization of products is something the Department takes very seriously," US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in the DOC statement.

"While the US is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with all countries, the Trump Administration will stand up for American workers and companies being unfairly harmed," he added.

The petitioner in the case is the National Biodiesel Fair Trade Coalition, an ad hoc association composed of the National Biodiesel Board and 15 domestic producers of biodiesel.

Argentina has appealed the decision.

"The Argentine government reiterates that it does not subsidize the production or export of biodiesel in any way," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The export rights applied to soy bean do not constitute a subsidy in any way in terms of the norms of international trade," it added.

Argentina said it had tried to reach an agreement to suspend the antidumping investigation. "But those efforts were unfortunately frustrated due to the lack of willingness to reach an agreement on behalf of US industry, which adopted an unacceptable position, based on preliminary rights that are unjustifiably high."