EU/Argentina Biodiesel Anti-Dumping Case Resolved

Joanna Schroeder

There has been a resolution in the European Union’s (EU) Anti-Dumping Measures on Biodiesel from Argentina. A World Trade Organization dispute panel has ruled in favor of Argentina on several of its complaints against the EU. Back in 2013, EU sanctioned anti-dumping duties on imports from biodiesel from Argentina, which served to all but shut down biodiesel trade. The charge against Argentina was that the country was selling the biodiesel at prices below the cost of production.

Flag_of_Argentina.svgArgentina countered that EU’s actions were protectionist, and EU countered back that domestic tax breaks allowed Argentina producers to sell their biodiesel at below market value putting European biodiesel producers at an unfair disadvantage. The panel sided with Argentina citing that the EU acted inconsistently with the Anti-Dumping Agreement by failing to calculate the cost of production of biodiesel on the basis of the records kept by the producers under investigation. In other words, how much it cost each individual Argentine biodiesel producer to produce the biodiesel.

The panel also upheld Argentina’s claim that the EU imposed anti‑dumping duties in excess of the margin of dumping that should have been established. However, other claims made by Argentina were dismissed and ruled in favor of the EU including the profit margin analysis used by the EU. The panel ruled, “The profit margin used by EU authorities was the result of a reasoned analysis that was rationally directed at approximating what the Argentine producers’ profit margin for the like product would have been if the like product had been sold in the ordinary course of trade in the domestic market of the exporting country.”

“NBB has for years maintained that Argentina’s distorted biodiesel market and export tax schemes lead to high volumes of below-market biodiesel imports from Argentina, including to the United States,” said Anne Steckel, VP of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). The WTO has largely affirmed the EU’s determination that such market distortion resulted in dumped and injurious imports from Argentina. NBB remains concerned about the impact of Argentinian imports in the US and will continue to assess options for addressing these imports.”

Biodiesel, International