In 2018, the U.S. Commerce Department finalized antidumping and countervailing duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, following a successful trade case by NBB’s Fair Trade Coalition. With the trade protections in place, U.S. biodiesel
producers recaptured 300 million gallons of market share in 2018.
In September 2018, the Government of Argentina asked for a "changed circumstances" review of the countervailing and antidumping duties, and on November 5, 2018, Commerce initiated the review.
After an initial look, on July 2, 2019, Commerce proposed to reduce
the countervailing duties substantially – virtually eliminating the duty for one Argentine company – but maintain the antidumping duties. After further review of ongoing changes to Argentina's tax and subsidy rates, Commerce on May 12, 2020, issued a final determination that no changes to countervailing and antidumping duties are warranted.
Both Argentina and Indonesia have filed suits in the U.S. Court of International Trade to challenge Commerce’s determinations. NBB’s Fair Trade Coalition continues to participate in the legal proceedings, arguing to uphold the duties.
NBB also works to apprise Representatives and Senators, especially members of Congressional oversight committees, of Commerce’s actions in the case.
As our members communicate with Commerce and other Washington policymakers, Members of Congress, the media, and the public, NBB works with them to amplify these points:
- U.S. biodiesel producers were substantially harmed by the actions of Argentine biodiesel producers, who received massive subsidies and sold their product below fair value.
- Commerce’s decision to initiate the reviews and proposal to reduce the duties in response are highly unusual. Commerce can point to only one other case – in 1992 – as a precedent for the action.
- Argentina continues to subsidize its domestic producers by artificially reducing the cost of soybean oil – which represents 90 percent of the cost of biodiesel – within the country. Argentine biodiesel producers can produce cut-rate biodiesel
and still sell below world market prices.
- Argentina has changed its tax rates on biodiesel exports multiple times in the last few years and can easily do so again, if Commerce drops important trade protections.