The U.S. Department of Commerce has agreed to reduce some of the U.S. duties on biodiesel shipped from Argentina, and that has U.S. soybean farmers upset. Commerce announced recently that it would grant Argentina’s request to cut the countervailing duties on the country’s biodiesel fuel. In a related ruling, Commerce declined to reduce the rates on U.S. anti-dumping duties.

“Given the administration’s strong view on addressing unfair trade practices and leveling the playing field for U.S. producers, this decision is surprising,” said Rob Shaffer, a member of the American Soybean Association’s board of directors. “While we continue to feel the impacts of hardline trade negotiations, the enforcement of countervailing and anti-dumping duties on unfairly subsidized biodiesel imports has been welcome. We don’t want to see the administration back down on that front.”

Commerce said it agreed with Argentina’s claim that “changed circumstances” — warranted a reduction in the cash deposit rates for countervailing duties. Argentina argued that it lowered its export taxes on soybeans, effectively allowing biodiesel prices to rise, and that was a reasonable ground for a reduction in U.S. duties.

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