U.S. to Launch Probe into Argentina, Indonesia Biodiesel Imports
by Eric Walsh and Fransiska Nangoy (Reuters) The United States said on Thursday it would start an investigation into imports of biodiesel from Indonesia and Argentina for possible dumping and subsidization.
The U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to make a preliminary decision by May 8 on whether such imports hurt U.S. producers, the U.S. commerce department said in a statement.
The step, just days ahead of a visit to Indonesia by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, comes after some U.S. biodiesel producers last month asked their government to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia that they say have flooded the U.S. market and violated trade agreements. READ MORE and MORE / MORE (National Biodiesel Board) and MORE (Reuters) and MORE (Farm and Ranch Guide)
Excerpt from Farm and Ranch Guide: The expanded import of biodiesel has been a bur underneath the saddle of biodiesel producers since action by the Environmental Protection Agency back in 2015 decided to allow Argentine imports to be eligible for U.S. tax credits as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Or, more simply put, U.S. tax payers, many of whom are farmers, were seeing their tax dollars used to prop up foreign biodiesel producers who were competing with our growers.
Total U.S. demand for biodiesel is pegged at around 2 billion gallons a year and our imports in 2016 totaled a record 916 million gallons, according to U.S. government figures. What is even more shocking is a claim by the NBB that imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia saw a bloated increase of 464 percent from 2014 to 2016, under “illegal trade activities.”
And these imports are coming in at what could be termed “fire-sale” prices, according to evidence submitted by the NBB in support of their call for action. Argentina is allegedly dumping biodiesel into the U.S. market at 23 percent below market value while the Indonesian figure is approximately 34 percent under market value.
It isn’t as if we are draining the last few drops of biodiesel out of the domestic barrel and need these foreign imports to sustain our use of biodiesel in this country. In fact, we have a great potential to produce all the biodiesel we need domestically. READ MORE