NBB Considers Legal Options Regarding Surging Argentinian Biodiesel Imports Since Filing of Trade Petition
(National Biodiesel Board) New data show that dumped and subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina continue unabated and, in fact, have further surged into the United States. In March of 2017, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that increased volumes of subsidized and dumped biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia have taken market share away from U.S. manufacturers and injured U.S. producers.
On June 2, a business intelligence company reported that biodiesel exports from Argentina in April reached a five-month high, all of which was shipped to the United States. Shipment tracking information shows that significant volumes are expected in June. These reports indicate much higher volumes than were seen in January through March, which ranged from 6 to 23 million gallons (according to EIA). Subsequent to the filing of the petition, Argentina substantially reduced its export taxes on biodiesel, and then lifted those taxes this month—contributing to the increase in shipments and exacerbating already challenging circumstances for U.S. producers.
“We’ve received information of potentially 75 million gallons of biodiesel flooding our ports soon—a significant increase from the import levels we saw in January, February and March. We filed the petition to level the playing field for U.S. producers, and the NBB Fair Trade Coalition will use every legal tool available to address these unfairly traded imports,” said Anne Steckel on behalf of the NBB Fair Trade Coalition. Steckel is the vice president of federal affairs at NBB.
Among these potential tools is a request for a finding of critical circumstances, which allows the government to impose duties retroactively on imports reaching U.S. shores up to 90 days prior to the Department of Commerce’s preliminary determinations on the claims in the petitions. The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to announce its preliminary determinations regarding the estimated rates of subsidization and dumping on or about August 22, 2017 and October 20, 2017, respectively.
The Argentinian government has adopted numerous subsidy programs benefiting Argentinian biodiesel producers. With such support, Argentinian biodiesel producers have become dominant exporters and taken an increasingly greater share of the U.S. market through dumped prices. This has negatively impacted the financial condition of the U.S. industry, causing U.S. producers to pull back on investments in what continues to be a growing market.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. The National Biodiesel Board is the U.S. trade association representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors. READ MORE