The US Department of Commerce (DoC) has made an affirmative final determination in the ongoing countervailing duty (CVD) investigation on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.

The DoC determined that the countries were providing unfair subsidies to their biodiesel producers at rates of 71.45-72.28% in Argentina and 34.45-64.73% in Indonesia, according to a DoC statement on 9 November.

“The unfair government subsidisation of products is something the DoC takes very seriously,” said US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross. “While the USA 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.”

The department said it would now instruct the US Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from companies and individuals importing biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia based on the rates the DoC determined.

The decision followed a preliminary determination earlier in November, which also confirmed that dumping had taken place.

Further action was now waiting a decision from the International Trade Commission (ITC) on whether the biodiesel imports had injured US industry.

If the ITC determined there had been injury, the DoC would then issue CVD orders. In the case of a negative determination, the investigation would be dropped without orders.

The investigation was initiated by the US biodiesel producers’ association National Biodiesel Board (NBB), which filed the original petition in April.

Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer at NBB, said the association appreciated that the government was addressing the “unfair subsidies”.

“The biodiesel industry has been injured for the past several years due to unfairly traded imports from Argentina and Indonesia. Though not yet over, this is a step forward in ensuring the product that supports nearly 64,000 jobs is not undercut by unfair imports,” Whitehead said.

US CVD laws provided US businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from harmful effect of unfairly subsidised imports into the country, the DoC said.

From 20 January 2017 – when the current president Donald Trump assumed office – to 9 November, the DoC had initiated 77 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, a 61% increase from the 48 in 2016.