USTR, U.S. ethanol groups lash out at EU anti-dumping duty plan

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2013 - The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. renewable fuel organizations expressed disappointment today following the recent European Commission decision to continue with plans to allow an anti-dumping duty of 9.6 percent on U.S. ethanol imports for five years.

The commission agreed with EU producers who claim that “cheap and subsidized” U.S. ethanol imports were causing ethanol prices to drop sharply during the past three years.

 Nkenge L. Harmon, deputy assistant for USTR public and media affairs, told Agri-Pulse today the office is “disappointed in this outcome." “We are evaluating the proposed council implementing regulation,” Harmon said. “Also, we have serious concerns about certain procedural and methodological aspects of the investigation.”

The decision also did not sit well with Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

“America's producers and marketers of ethanol are outraged by the news that the European Commission has proposed to the European Council an anti-dumping duty equivalent to 62.3 Euro per tonne on all ethanol produced in the United States, regardless of who produces the product or who sells it,” the groups said in a joint statement. “This decision is unprecedented. Not only does it fly in the face of over 30 years of consistent practice by the EC, but it also violates numerous provisions of the World Trade Organization's agreement on anti-dumping.”

RFA President Bob Dinneen questioned the legality of the decision.

“They selected six producers for investigation and none were found to be dumping; nonetheless, duties are being imposed,” Dinneen said. “In addition, all those producers not selected for review are also being penalized, again with no dumping having been found.”

Growth Energy chief executive officer Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said U.S. ethanol producers are “exploring every option to overturn this decision.”

“Our producers and trading companies cooperated fully with the commission's requests for information,” Buis said. “In the end, it was all ignored in favor of what can only be described as a political decision to erect an artificial trade barrier.”

The organization ePure, which represents EU ethanol producers, endorsed the anti-dumping proposal in late December.

“It is a positive outcome for the EU industry because European ethanol producers have been unfairly undermined by the dumping of U.S. ethanol on the EU market,” said Rob Vierhout, ePure secretary general. “This positive outcome is not only a legitimate compensation for the past injury but it also sets a good precedent for challenges that the industry will be facing in the future.”

 

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