Biodiesel stakeholders are opposing an “unprecedented review” of biodiesel import duties being conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce at the request of Argentina.
The department last week granted a request from the government of Argentina to initiate “changed circumstances” reviews of U.S. trade duties imposed on Argentine biodiesel companies, after imposing antidumping and countervailing duty orders earlier this year following investigations that determined biodiesel imports from Argentina were massively subsidized and dumped, injuring U.S. biodiesel producers.
The National Biodiesel Board’s Fair Trade Coalition urged Commerce to reject Argentina’s request and opposes Commerce’s initiation of the reviews, which could result in resetting the duty rates Commerce calculated only months ago.
“The Commerce Department has no basis for initiating this unprecedented review,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Commerce has established procedures for conducting reviews with extensive fact-finding for the very purpose of revisiting antidumping and countervailing duty rates but has never used “changed circumstances” reviews for these purposes. Commerce’s initiation of these reviews just months after finding that Argentina has engaged in unfair trade practices creates a great deal of uncertainty for our industry at a time when the positive results of the original cases are just beginning to be realized.”
The Commerce Department’s changed circumstances review process typically takes 270 days, meaning a final determination could come by August 2019. The orders on biodiesel from Argentina imposed by Commerce earlier this year established final countervailing duty rates ranging from 71.45% to 72.28% and antidumping duty rates ranging from 60.44% to 86.41%.