Cash deposits from importers will be collected
Affirmative preliminary determinations in antidumping duty (AD) investigations on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia were announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), with a finding Argentine biodiesel was being sold into the U.S. market at dumping margins of 54.36%V to 70.05% and Indonesian biodiesel was being sold at dumping margins of 50.71%.
The decision means U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on these preliminary rates.
However, Argentina's government has requested negotiations to suspend the AD and related countervailing duty investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced. DOC is working with interested parties on possible suspension agreements, the agency said, but a statement stressed the agreements would only be signed if they ensure that injury to the domestic biodiesel industry is eliminated and that the unfair trade practices are addressed.
Ross comments. "The Trump Administration is committed to both free and fair trade and will defend American workers against unfair trade practices," Ross said. "Still, we are thankful to the Government of Argentina for their proactive approach to solving this issue, and remain optimistic that a negotiated solution can be reached both with Argentina and with Indonesia."
Timeline. Unless the final determinations are postponed, DOC is currently scheduled to announce its final AD determinations on January 3, 2018. Should that happen and the US International Trade Commission (USITC) makes affirmative final injury determinations, Commerce will issue AD orders. If Commerce makes negative final determinations of dumping or the USITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.
Impacts. Even though the final determinations will not come until January, indications are the preliminary CVD determinations announced in August have already all but shut off imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia so the announcement of the preliminary AD finding will not likely impact imports.
Both Argentina and Indonesia say they will challenge the DOC preliminary finding. Argentina's Foreign Ministry said the new duties would have little impact since preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) already announced have made "access to the US market impossible," according to Argentina's Foreign Ministry. "A possible application of additional duties has no practical effect in terms of real market access," the ministry told Reuters in a statement. They confirmed they are working with the US government on an agreement to suspend both the AD and CVD investigations.
Indonesia said it will also contest the decision. Oke Nurwan, a senior trade ministry official in Jakarta, said they will submit its own calculations to the US Commerce Department. "We will fight to counter the U.S. dumping allegation," he said.
Biodiesel imports. In 2016, imports of biodiesel from Argentina were valued at $1.2 billion and from Indonesia were valued at $268 million.
Timeline for decisions
- CVD case: Commerce is scheduled to announce its final determinations on or about November 7, "unless the statutory deadline is extended," the agency said. In the event that Commerce makes a positive final determination, the USITC would then make a final determination around December 22. If both make a positive final determination, a final order would be issued December 29.
- AD Case: Commerce would make a final determination on or around January 3, "unless the statutory deadline is extended," and if that is a positive determination, a final determination from the USITC would come February 16. If both make a positive final determination, and order would be issued February 19.