The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and American Soybean Association (ASA) sent a letter this week to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, requesting a meeting before his department finalizes its review of countervailing duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina.
The letter notes that Ross met with the Government of Argentina after issuing a preliminary decision in the review but has not yet met directly with U.S. biodiesel producers.
“Since Commerce issued the preliminary results in the review on July 9, our multiple requests to schedule a meeting with you have gone unanswered,” the groups write. “We still hope that you can provide us the same courtesy that you provided to representatives of the government of Argentina and meet with us.”
Commerce finalized countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel imports in January 2018, following a lengthy investigation that found U.S. biodiesel producers were harmed by Argentina’s unfair trade practices. Then in November 2018, Commerce granted Argentina’s unprecedented request for a “changed circumstances” review, based on the Argentine government’s claims that it had changed its tax structure. In July 2019, Commerce issued a preliminary decision that would virtually eliminate countervailing duties for Argentina’s biodiesel producers.
“It remains unclear why Commerce is rushing to issue final results when recent developments in Argentina suggest a likely change in leadership and tax policy,” the letter continues. “It seems clear that Argentina’s tax policies are likely to continue to change, as they have on numerous occasions in recent years. It is far more important for Commerce to make the right decision in this review, rather than a quick decision.”
Argentina is holding the first round of a presidential election on October 27. A runoff, if necessary, would occur on November 24.