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DOC issues affirmative preliminary antidumping duty determinations on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia

On October 23, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, finding that exporters in the two countries sold biodiesel in the United States at dumping margins of 54.36 percent to 70.05 percent and 50.71 percent, respectively.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (photo courtesy Jay Premack / USPTO).

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) will instruct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on these preliminary rates.

Secretary Ross also announced that the Government of Argentina has requested negotiations to suspend the AD and related countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina. The DOC is working with interested parties on possible suspension agreements and says that it would only sign such agreements if they ensure that “injury to the domestic biodiesel industry is eliminated” and that the unfair trade practices are addressed.

The Trump Administration is committed to both free and fair trade and will defend American workers against unfair trade practices. Still, we are thankful to the Government of Argentina for their proactive approach to solving this issue, and remain optimistic that a negotiated solution can be reached both with Argentina and with Indonesia, said Secretary Ross.

Imports valued at almost US$1.5 billion 2016

In 2016, imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia were valued at an estimated US$1.2 billion and US$268 million, respectively. The petitioner is the National Biodiesel Fair Trade Coalition, an ad hoc association composed of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and 15 domestic producers of biodiesel.

Unless the final determinations are postponed, DOC is currently scheduled to announce its final AD determinations on January 3, 2018. If DOC makes affirmative final determinations of dumping and the US International Trade Commission (ITC) makes affirmative final injury determinations, DOC will issue AD orders. If DOC makes negative final determinations of dumping or the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.

About DOC

The US Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration (ITA) is responsible for “vigorously” enforcing US trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based solely on factual evidence.

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties. In the fiscal year 2016, the United States collected US$1.5 billion in duties on US$14 billion of imported goods found to be underpriced or subsidized by foreign governments.

The “vigorous” enforcement of US trade laws is a priority of the Trump administration. From January 20, 2017, through October 23, 2017, the DOC initiated 73 antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations – a 52 percent increase from the previous year. For the same time period in 2016, DOC initiated 48 AD and CVD investigations.

The AD law provides US businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair subsidization of imports into the US. DOC currently maintains 412 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American industries and workers impacted by unfair trade.

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