The National Biodiesel Board‘s (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition is criticizing a preliminary decision from the Department of Commerce in a “changed circumstances” review of countervailing duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina. According to NBB, the department determined that “Argentina’s recent changes to its export tax regime eliminated certain government subsidies provided to Argentina’s biodiesel producers” which, if finalized, would reduce the existing countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel from 72% to 10%.
In a companion review of the antidumping duty order, Commerce did not propose to change the antidumping duty rates that are currently in effect, which average 75%. The reduced countervailing duty rates would be applied in addition to the existing antidumping rates, resulting in a total average rate of 85%.
Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs, stated, “NBB and the Fair Trade Coalition strongly disagree with Commerce’s proposal to virtually eliminate countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel. This appears to be an unprecedented and unjustified accommodation to Argentinian producers that threatens to harm U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers. Throughout this review, NBB has made the case that Argentina continues to massively subsidize its domestic biodiesel producers. Commerce’s proposal to eliminate trade protections for U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers is difficult to understand at a time when the Trump administration is asking them to bear huge economic costs from trade disruptions.”