After a lengthy review, the U.S. Department of Commerce decided this week to leave duties in place on biodiesel imports from Argentina.
Argentina’s biodiesel industry received a second look from the U.S. Commerce Department in November 2018, on its decision to penalize the country’s biodiesel exports to the United States with antidumping and countervailing duties.
Such a review typically takes 270 days to complete. Commerce went beyond that timeframe by six months.
The DOC imposed final countervailing duty rates in 2018 ranging from 71.45% to 72.28% and antidumping duty rates ranging from 60.44% to 86.41%.
The DOC determined that there are no “changed circumstances” to warrant changes in U.S. duty rates.
In Argentina’s request for a review, the country said it has “decreased significantly the export tax on soybeans and other commodities in the soybean value chain, and imposed a new biodiesel export tax”, that warrants a review by U.S. officials.
U.S. officials set the higher rates to essentially level the playing field for U.S. producers to compete with producers that receive government subsidies in Argentina and Indonesia.
Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia grew by 464% from 2014 to 2016, according to the National Biodiesel Board, essentially erasing 18.3 percentage points of market share from U.S. producers.
In 2016, imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia were valued at an estimated $1.2 billion and $268 million, respectively, according to the DOC.
In January 2018, the DOC found U.S. biodiesel producers were harmed by unfair trade practices and finalized antidumping and countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel imports ranging from 132.72% to 157.86%.
In November 2018, the DOC granted Argentina’s request for a “changed circumstances” review, based on that government’s alleged changes in its export tax regime.
In July 2019, the DOC issued a preliminary decision that would have reduced rates for Argentina’s biodiesel producers.
The final determination will be published in the Federal Register at a later date.