NBB, ASA ask Ross for meeting about CVDs on Argentine biodiesel

By The National Biodiesel Board | October 02, 2019

The National Biodiesel Board and American Soybean Association sent a letter Sept. 30 to Wilbur Ross, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, requesting he meet with the groups before the department finalizes its review of countervailing duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina. The letter notes that Ross met with the government of Argentina after issuing a preliminary decision in the review but has not yet met directly with U.S. biodiesel producers.

“Since Commerce issued the preliminary results in the review on July 9, our multiple requests to schedule a meeting with you have gone unanswered,” the groups write. “We still hope that you can provide us the same courtesy that you provided to representatives of the government of Argentina and meet with us.”

A copy of the letter is available for download.

The commerce department finalized countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel imports in January 2018, following a lengthy investigation that found U.S. biodiesel producers were harmed by Argentina’s unfair trade practices. Then in November 2018, it granted Argentina’s unprecedented request for a “changed circumstances” review, based on the Argentine government’s claims that it had changed its tax structure. In July 2019, the commerce department issued a preliminary decision that would virtually eliminate countervailing duties for Argentina’s biodiesel producers.

“It remains unclear why Commerce is rushing to issue final results when recent developments in Argentina suggest a likely change in leadership and tax policy,” the letter continues. “It seems clear that Argentina’s tax policies are likely to continue to change, as they have on numerous occasions in recent years. It is far more important for Commerce to make the right decision in this review, rather than a quick decision.”

Argentina is holding the first round of a presidential election on Oct. 27. A runoff, if necessary, would occur on Nov. 24.

“The administration’s rush to provide a boost to Argentina’s farmers and biodiesel producers is difficult to understand,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “This year, U.S. farmers are earning half what they did five years ago because of trade disputes. And nine U.S. biodiesel producers have been forced to cut production, close facilities, and lay off workers because of the administration’s favors to the oil industry. Opening the door to a resumption of unfairly priced biodiesel imports will only do more harm to the U.S. biodiesel industry and U.S. farmers.”

 

 
 
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