Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, finding that exporters of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia received countervailable subsidies of 50.29 to 64.17 percent and 41.06 to 68.28 percent, respectively. Commerce also determined that critical circumstances exist in the Argentina investigation, allowing for the collection of duties for a retroactive period of 90 days prior to publication of the preliminary determination in the Federal Register.
“The U.S. values its relationships with Argentina and Indonesia, but even friendly nations must play by the rules,” said Secretary Ross. “The subsidization of goods by foreign governments is something that the Trump administration takes very seriously, and we will continue to evaluate and verify the accuracy of this preliminary determination.”
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on the above preliminary rates.
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.
Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a prime focus of the Trump administration. From January 20 through August 22, Commerce initiated 56 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 27 percent increase from the previous year. For the same time period in 2016, Commerce had initiated 44 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.
Countervailing duty laws provide U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair subsidization of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 404 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.
Unless the final determinations are postponed, Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final CVD determinations on November 7.
If Commerce makes affirmative final determinations of subsidization and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes affirmative final injury determinations, Commerce will issue CVD orders. If Commerce makes negative final determinations of subsidization or the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.
Click HERE for a fact sheet on today’s decision.