FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Winters
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the National Biodiesel
Board (NBB) and American Soybean Association (ASA) sent a letter to Secretary
of Commerce Wilbur Ross, requesting he meet with the groups before the U.S.
Department of Commerce 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.
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
of the letter is available for download.
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,
Commerce 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, Commerce issued a preliminary decision that would
virtually eliminate countervailing duties for Argentina's biodiesel producers.
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."
is holding the first round of a presidential election on October 27. A runoff,
if necessary, would occur on November 24.
Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs with NBB, added, "The
administration's rush to provide a boost to Argentina's farmers and biodiesel
producers is difficult to understand. 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."
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.
For more about biodiesel, visit www.biodiesel.org.