Groups write Trump on review of Argentine biodiesel duties

By The National Biodiesel Board | November 28, 2018

Three trade groups wrote President Donald Trump Nov. 28 to express concern that the U.S. Department of Commerce has initiated “changed circumstances” reviews of U.S. trade duties on Argentine biodiesel companies. The National Biodiesel Board, the American Soybean Association, and the National Renderers Association urged the president to ensure that the commerce department undertake a rigorous, comprehensive and transparent review before considering any adjustment to the duty rates it established just this year.

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed antidumping and countervailing duty orders in January and April 2018, following investigations in which the government found that biodiesel imports from Argentina were massively subsidized and dumped, injuring U.S. biodiesel producers.

“Given the importance of this new remedy for American energy and agriculture against unfair imports, it is a mystery that Commerce would open an expedited path for Argentina to reduce or remove the tariffs and resume their illegal imports,” the groups, which represent stakeholders in U.S. biodiesel production, state in the letter. “This political concession to the government of Argentina would once again distort U.S. markets and undercut crop prices that are only now regaining stability, following other trade disruptions.”

The groups opposed the commerce department’s initiation of the changed circumstances review, arguing that the department has well-established administrative review procedures for revisiting antidumping and countervailing duty rates. The agency has not used “changed circumstances” reviews for these purposes. The commerce department’s initiation of these reviews just months after finding that Argentina engaged in unfair trade practices creates a great deal of uncertainty for the biodiesel industry and other stakeholders.

Now that the commerce department has initiated the changed circumstances review, the groups are urging President Trump “to ensure that Commerce’s review of these orders is no less rigorous and transparent than the ‘administrative reviews’ that Commerce typically conducts in other cases. To do anything less would strike a devastating blow to U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers.”

A copy of the letter is available to download.

 

 
 
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