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NBB Strongly Disagrees with Commerce's Preliminary Decision to Change Argentine Biodiesel Duty Rates

Jul 2, 2019, 4:49 PM
Commerce gives Argentina a trade break at the expense of U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers

NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Contact: Paul Winters
 202-737-8801
pwinters@biodiesel.org

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Biodiesel Board's (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition today criticized the U.S. Department of Commerce's preliminary decision in a "changed circumstances" review of countervailing duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina. Commerce preliminarily found that Argentina's recent changes to its export tax regime eliminated certain government subsidies provided to Argentina's biodiesel producers. If these results are made final, Commerce would reduce the existing countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel from their current average of 72% to 10%.

In a companion review of the antidumping duty order, Commerce did not propose to change the antidumping duty rates that are currently in effect, which average 75%. The reduced countervailing duty rates would be applied in addition to the existing antidumping rates, resulting in a total average rate of 85%.

Kurt Kovarik, NBB's Vice President of Federal Affairs, stated, "NBB and the Fair Trade Coalition strongly disagree with Commerce's proposal to virtually eliminate countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel. This appears to be an unprecedented and unjustified accommodation to Argentinian producers that threatens to harm U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers. Throughout this review, NBB has made the case that Argentina continues to massively subsidize its domestic biodiesel producers. Commerce's proposal to eliminate trade protections for U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers is difficult to understand at a time when the Trump administration is asking them to bear huge economic costs from trade disruptions."

Kovarik added: "The trade enforcement and protection had been a bright spot this year for U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers who were negatively impacted by other trade disruptions. Despite the uncertainty created when Commerce launched this review last November, U.S. producers have stepped up to the plate and increased production nearly every month since mid-2017. We are struggling to understand why Commerce is reopening the door for subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina."

The countervailing duty cash deposit rates will not change as a result of the preliminary decision; any rate changes would become effective with a final determination, currently due in September. If the preliminary decision becomes final, the applicable cash deposit rates would change as follows:

 

Antidumping Rate (unchanged)

Current Countervailing Rate

Countervailing Rate (updated)

Total AD and CVD Rate (updated)

Vicentin

86.41

71.45

10.3

96.71

LDC Argentina

60.44

72.28

0

60.44

All Other

74.63

71.87

10.3

84.93

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation's first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.

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For more about biodiesel, visit www.biodiesel.org.

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