Another Tuesday, another countervailing duty (CVD) determination from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Two weeks after the department issued affirmative determinations in the cases of Chinese aluminum foil and silicon from Australia, Brazil and Kazakhstan, the department issued a ruling on biodiesel earlier this week.
The department announced its determination Aug. 22. The CVD investigation targeted biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Argentina and Indonesia received countervailable subsidies of 50.29 to 64.17 percent and 41.06 to 68.28 percent, respectively.
“The U.S. values its relationships with Argentina and Indonesia, but even friendly nations must play by the rules,” Ross said in a department release. “The subsidization of goods by foreign governments is something that the Trump administration takes very seriously, and we will continue to evaluate and verify the accuracy of this preliminary determination.”
Biodiesel fuel is typically made from a diverse range of sources, including recycled cooking oil, animal fats and and soybean oil.
As in other CVD rulings, the Department of Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on the aforementioned preliminary rates.
The petitioner in the investigation was the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition, which represents the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors in the U.S.
“The Commerce Department has recognized what this industry has known all along—that foreign biodiesel producers have benefited from massive subsidies that have severely injured U.S. biodiesel producers,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board, in a release. “We’re grateful that the Commerce Department has taken preliminary steps that will allow our industry to compete on a level playing field.”
As with the announcements Aug. 8, the Department of Commerce continues to tout the uptick in countervailing and antidumping investigations this year compared with last year. According to the Aug. 22 release, the department has launched 56 CVD and antidumping investigations between Jan. 20 and Aug. 22 — a 27% increase from the previous year.
According to the release, 2016 imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia were valued at an estimated $1.2 billion and $268 million, respectively.
Barring delays, the Department of Commerce is scheduled to announce its final determination in the investigation Nov. 7.