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U.S. biodiesel industry calls out illegal trading

National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition triggers import investigation.

On Thursday, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) filed an antidumping and countervailing duty petition, making the case that companies in Argentina and Indonesia are violating trade laws by flooding the U.S. market with dumped and subsidized biodiesel. The petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, which is made up of NBB and U.S. biodiesel producers.

NBB chief executive officer Donnell Rehagen said his group and the U.S. biodiesel industry are "committed to fair trade, and we support the right of producers and workers to compete on a level playing field. This is a simple case where companies in Argentina and Indonesia are getting advantages that cheat U.S. trade laws and are counter to fair competition. NBB is involved because U.S. biodiesel production, which currently support more than 50,000 American jobs, is being put at risk by unfair market practices.”

Because of illegal trade activities, biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464% from 2014 to 2016. That growth has taken 18.3 percentage points of market share away from U.S. manufacturers.

“The resulting imbalance caused by unfair trade practices is suffocating U.S. biodiesel producers,” Rehagen explained. “Our goal is to create a level playing field to give markets, consumers and retailers access to the benefits of true and fair competition.”

Based on NBB’s review, Argentine and Indonesian producers are dumping their biodiesel in the U.S. by selling at prices that are substantially below their costs of production. This is reflected in the petition’s alleged dumping margins of 23.3% for Argentina and 34% for Indonesia. The petition also alleges illegal subsidies based on numerous government programs in those countries.

This is not the first time that Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel producers have been charged with violating international trade laws. In 2013, the European Union imposed duties of 41.9-49.2% on Argentina and duties of 8.8-23.3% on Indonesia. Just last year, Peru imposed both antidumping and countervailing duties on biodiesel from Argentina.

NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors.

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