US confirms huge taxes on Argentine, Indonesian biodiesel

11-Nov-2017 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The United States on Thursday confirmed a plan to impose huge duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, which officials said received government subsidies and therefore compete unfairly with US producers.

The punitive duties on Argentina’s biodiesel were raised to as much as 72 percent, higher than the rate in the preliminary decision announced in August, while Indonesia faces rates as high as 64.7 percent, according to a Commerce Department statement.

“The unfair government subsidisation of products is something the Department takes very seriously,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

“While the United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with all countries, the Trump Administration will stand up for American workers and companies being unfairly harmed,” he said.

The Trump administration has aggressively policed trade relationships and made ending bilateral trade imbalances a centerpiece of its nationalist economic agenda.

The Commerce Department said it has initiated 77 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations this year — a 61 percent increase from 48 in the previous year.

The United States imported $1.2 billion of biodiesel from Argentina in 2016, and $268 million from Indonesia, according to Commerce Department figures. The product is mainly used as an alternative fuel for cars.

US customs agents in August began collecting duties from importers based on the lower subsidy rates in the Commerce Department’s preliminary ruling.

The decision remains subject to final review by the US International Trade Commission, which is due to rule on or before December 26.

The complaint was lodged by the National Biodiesel Fair Trade Coalition, an ad hoc association composed of the National Biodiesel Board and 15 domestic producers of biodiesel.

Argentina successfully overturned a similar case with the European Union through an appeal to the World Trade Organisation, but the country exports most of its production to the US market.

Companies there argue that they compete fairly and simply have lower costs for production and logistics. The country is a huge producer of soybeans which is used to make biodiesel.–finance.html


Category: Indonesia

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