Jefferson City, Missouri-based renewable fuels lobby the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) testified Thursday before the US Department of Commerce (DOC) regarding unfairly traded Indonesian biodiesel imports.
The NBB testimonial, which was heard during a hearing held in response to executive order 13786, which called for an omnibus report on significant trade deficits, argued that the growing trade deficit with Indonesia, which reached $13.2bn in 2016, is fueled in significant part by increasing volumes of unfairly traded biodiesel imports from the country.
“Between 2014 and 2016, the trade imbalance with respect to biodiesel has grown 95pc,” said Anne Steckel, NBB vice president of federal affairs.
Steckel and the NBB cited several tactics employed by the Indonesian government to promote exports and violate US trade laws, including levying high export taxes on crude palm oil, preferential financing from the Indonesian Export-Import Bank, and providing subsidies and various tax incentives for biodiesel producers and supporters.
“Unfair trade practices have caused this significant surge in biodiesel imports and growing trade deficit, such as massive subsidization by the Indonesian government and dumped pricing by Indonesian biodiesel producers and exporters,” Steckel said, adding that those practices have injured, and threatened to continue to injure, US biodiesel producers.
The NBB began to counter these dynamics in late March, when the organization filed an antidumping and countervailing duty petition with the US DOC and the US International Trade Commission (ITC), alleging the illegal dumping of subsidized biodiesel by Argentine and Indonesian fuel producers.
On 5 May, the ITC made a preliminary decision to proceed with a full investigation into the allegations presented by the NBB and their member organizations.