NBB Unhappy with Change to Duty Rates on Argentina Biodiesel Imports

The National Biodiesel Board’s Fair Trade Commission criticized a Department of Commerce action that would lower the duty rate on Argentinian biodiesel. The Commerce Department made a  preliminary decision in a “changed circumstances” review of countervailing duties on the Argentinian biodiesel imports, finding that recent changes to the country’s export tax regime eliminated certain government subsidies provided to Argentina’s biodiesel producers. If these results are finalized, Commerce will reduce the existing countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel from the current average of 72 percent down to 10 percent. “NBB and the Fair Trade Coalition strongly disagree with Commerce’s proposal to virtually eliminate countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel,” says Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs. “This appears to be an unprecedented and unjustified accommodation to Argentinian producers that threatens to harm U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers.” While the review was taking place, NBB made the case that Argentina continues to massively subsidize its domestic biodiesel producers. Kovarik adds, “The proposal to eliminate trade protections for U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers is difficult to understand at a time when the administration is asking growers and biodiesel companies to bear huge economic costs from trade disruptions.”