Today the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4-0 in favor of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition’s position that the industry has suffered because of unfairly subsidized imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. This affirmative vote on injury, coupled with last month’s final countervailing duties determination by the Commerce Department, paves the way for final countervailing duty orders by the end of December.
“This unanimous vote is important progress 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. 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,” said Donnell Rehagen, chief executive officer of the National Biodiesel Board. The biodiesel industry supports roughly 64,000 jobs nationwide.
Last month, a mix of large and small producers testified on the volume and price effects of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, and the related impacts to the industry at a hearing before the ITC commissioners. If the Commerce Department makes an affirmative final determination on dumping, then the ITC will still need to vote early next year on the question of dumping.
The NBB Fair Trade Coalition filed petitions with the Commerce Department and the ITC in March to address a flood of subsidized and dumped imports from Argentina and Indonesia that has resulted in market share losses and depressed prices for domestic producers. Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464 percent from 2014 to 2016, taking 18.3 percentage points of market share from U.S. manufacturers. Imports of biodiesel from Argentina again jumped 144.5 percent following the filing of the petitions. 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.
The National Biodiesel Board is one of the members of the NBB Fair Trade Coalition. In November, the coalition won a preliminary antidumping determination from the Commerce Department; the department found that biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia are sold into the United States below fair value. The Commerce Department also affirmed its earlier decision that these countries unfairly subsidize biodiesel last month. As a result of these decisions, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will be required to pay two sets of cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. The National Biodiesel Board is the U.S. trade association representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.
For more information on biodiesel, visit www.biodiesel.org