The US Commerce Department has set preliminary import duties of up to 70.05 percent on biofuel imports from Argentina and 50.71 on imports from Indonesia after finding exporters in the two countries sold this merchandise in the United States at prices below production costs.
Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties.
The Government of Argentina has requested negotiations to suspend the duties. The Department has said it is working with interested parties on possible suspension agreements. Commerce would only sign such agreements if they ensure the unfair trade practices are addressed.
“The Trump Administration is committed to both free and fair trade and will defend American workers against unfair trade practices,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Still, we are thankful to the Government of Argentina for their proactive approach to solving this issue, and remain optimistic that a negotiated solution can be reached both with Argentina and with Indonesia.”
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 ad hoc association composed of the National Biodiesel Board and 15 domestic producers of biodiesel.
Unless the final determinations are postponed, Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final AD determinations on January 3, 2018. If Commerce makes affirmative final determinations of dumping and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes affirmative final injury determinations, Commerce will issue AD orders. If Commerce makes negative final determinations of dumping or the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.
In fiscal year 2016, the United States collected $1.5 billion in duties on $14 billion of imported goods found to be underpriced or subsidized by foreign governments.