The International Trade Commission (ITC) voted unanimously that the U.S. biodiesel industry has been disadvantaged by imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, a move that could pave the way for countervailing duties to be put in place by the end of the year.
The National Biodiesel Board was quick to cheer the decision, calling it a vote in support of the U.S. biodiesel industry. Donnell Rehagen, NBB’s CEO, said the vote is “important progress” in the path to “addressing the harm by this unfair trade on biodiesel.”
“U.S. energy policy sought to create a level playing field for domestic and imported biodiesel, but foreign government subsidies have made it nearly impossible for U.S. producers to compete,” he said. “We are gratified that countervailing duty orders will contribute to leveling the playing field such that the domestic industry has the opportunity to produce at the levels it knows it can.”
NBB hopes this decision – in combination with Commerce Department determination of final countervailing duties – “paves the way for final countervailing duty orders by the end of December.”
Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia jumped by 464 percent between 2014 and 2016, NBB claims, which took market share from U.S. biofuel producers. Argentine imports continued to increase after the NBB Fair Trade Coalition petitioned Commerce and the ITC in March.
“These surging, low-priced imports prevented producers from earning adequate returns on their substantial investments and caused U.S. producers to pull back on further investments to serve a growing market,” NBB said in a statement.