WASHINGTON DC (February 26, 2019) — US Sens Charles "Chuck" Grassley of Iowa and Maria Cantwell of Washington led a bipartisan group of 12 senators in writing to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross questioning the Administration’s changed circumstances review of antidumping and countervailing duty orders that were imposed only months prior on imports of certain biodiesel products from Argentina. The senators are pressing the department to rigorously and transparently review actions by the Argentine government and industry to determine if revisiting the antidumping and countervailing duty rates is warranted.

Joining Grassley and Cantwell were Sens John Thune of South Dakota; Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island; Roy Blunt of Missouri; Dick Durbin of Illinois; Joni Ernst of Iowa; Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; Mike Braun of Indiana; Tina Smith of Minnesota; Deb Fischer of Nebraska; Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire; Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; and Patty Murray of Washington. 

“It is unclear why Commerce would afford a special review to Argentina and its biodiesel industry when the ink on these antidumping and countervailing duty orders is barely dry,” the senators wrote. “Under the statutory scheme, Commerce’s standard practice is to review post-investigation developments and their impact on duty rates in annual administrative reviews.”

“In the short period since the antidumping and countervailing duty orders were imposed, U.S. biodiesel producers have been able to compete on a more level playing field and the U.S. biodiesel industry has begun to recoverfrom the injury caused by the unfair trade practices of the Argentine government and industry,” the senators continued.

The letter can be found HERE or below.

 

February 26, 2019

The Honorable Wilbur Ross

Secretary of Commerce

US Department of Commerce

1401 Constitution Ave NW

Washington, DC 20230

 

Dear Secretary Ross:

In January and April 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) issued countervailing duty and antidumping orders on imports of certain biodiesel products from Argentina. In December, Commerce initiated “changed circumstances reviews” to assess Argentina’s most recent modification to its export tax regime, which Argentina claims warrants review of the US antidumping and countervailing duty orders entered within the past year.

It is unclear why Commerce would afford a special review to Argentina and its biodiesel industry when the ink on these antidumping and countervailing duty orders is barely dry. Under the statutory scheme, Commerce’s standard practice is to review post-investigation developments and their impact on duty rates in annual administrative reviews.

In the short period since the antidumping and countervailing duty orders were imposed, US biodiesel producers have been able to compete on a more level playing field and the US biodiesel industry has begun to recover from the injury caused by the unfair trade practices of the Argentine government and industry. US biodiesel producers have increased production by more than 16 percent, producing more than 1.5 billion gallons of fuel over the first 10 months of 2018. The industry is reinvesting in its operations, building additional capacity for future production and growing jobs. The US biodiesel industry supports more than 60,000 U.S. jobs and $11 billion in domestic economic activity.

We understand that Commerce has already initiated these changed circumstances reviews and must carry through with them. We ask that the agency apply the same rigor and transparency that it applies in standard administrative reviews. Commerce should develop a complete record of actions by the Argentine government and industry to determine if revisiting the antidumping and countervailing duty rates is warranted.

We appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to receiving updates as Commerce proceeds with these reviews.

Sincerely,

Support the River Cities' Reader

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!

 

"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993. Now we find our ability to continue providing all the features you love in serious jeopardy without the financial support of our readers.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher