Commerce: Subsidies Unfair

HOUSTON (DTN) -- U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Thursday (11/9) announced affirmative final determinations in the countervailing duty investigations of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

The Commerce Department determined that Argentina is providing unfair subsidies to its biodiesel producers at rates from 71.45% to 72.28% and that Indonesia is subsidizing its producers at rates from 34.45% to 64.73%.

If the U.S. International Trade Commission makes an affirmative injury determination, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to continue the collection of cash deposits equal to the applicable subsidy rates.

"The unfair government subsidization of products is something the department takes very seriously," said Ross. "While the United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with all countries, the Trump administration will stand up for American workers and companies being unfairly harmed."

Biodiesel is a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, including biologically based waste oils or greases, and other biologically based oil or fat sources. The investigations cover biodiesel in pure form (B100) as well as fuel mixtures containing blends above B30 and including 99% biodiesel by volume (B99). For fuel mixtures containing above 30% and including 99% biodiesel by volume, only the biodiesel component of the mixture is covered by the scope of the investigations.

In 2016, imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia were valued at an estimated $1.2 billion and $268 million, respectively.

The petitioner is the National Biodiesel Fair Trade Coalition, an association comprised of the National Biodiesel Board and 15 domestic producers of biodiesel.

From Jan. 20 through Nov. 9, the Commerce Dept. has initiated 77 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations -- a 61% increase from the year prior.

The Commerce Dept. currently maintains 412 antidumping duty and CVD orders.