The US Department of Commerce (USDOC) has ruled that biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia are sold into the country below fair value, in a final determination on its anti-dumping investigations into the two countries, announced on 21 February.

As a result, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will continue to pay cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries ranging from 60.44 to 86.41% for biodiesel from Argentina, and 92.52 to 276.65% for biodiesel from Indonesia, depending on the particular foreign producer/exporter involved, according to the US National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

“The USDOC will instruct US Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits in these amounts when the final determination is published in the Federal Register some time next week,” the NBB said.

The duty deposit requirements were in addition to deposits required by final countervailing duty orders published earlier this year. The final countervailing duty orders followed affirmative findings that unfairly subsidised biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia had injured the US biodiesel industry.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) is also scheduled to give its final decision on 6 April on whether the Argentine and Indonesian imports had damaged the US biodiesel industry.

“Today’s decision allows US producers of biodiesel to receive relief from the market-distorting effects of foreign producers dumping into the domestic market. While the USA values its relationship with Argentina and Indonesia, even our closest friends must play by the rules,” said US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“It is reassuring to see the administration enforcing policies that put America first,” added NBB vice president of federal affairs, Kurt Kovarik.

“The biodiesel industry already deals with policy uncertainties, such as lapsing tax credits and annual unpredictability with the Renewable Fuel Standard, so we appreciate seeing illegally dumped imports remedied,” he added.

The NBB’s Fair Trade Coalition, consisting on NBB and 15 US biodiesel producers, petitioned the USDOC to start the anti-dumping investigation in March 2017.

Under the Trump administration, the USDOC has cracked down on possible trade law violations, launching 102 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations between 20 January 2017 and 20 February 2018, marking a 96% increase over the same period in 2016-17.