On March 13, the European Union will impose a counter-subsidy tax on U.S. biodiesel producers for “dumping” biodiesel on the European market.
European producers have been complaining about cheap imported biodiesel for quite a while, and it looks like a key European trade panel finally took action. The tax will be specific to each biodiesel producer:
- ArcherDaniels Midland: 86 cents per gallon;
- Cargill: 90 cents;
- Imperium Renewables: 96 cents;
- Green Earth Energy Fuels: 93 cents;
- World Energy Alternatives: 96 cents;
- Peter Cremer North America and remaining biodiesel producers will pay $1.36 per gallon.
Generally speaking, both “dumping” and anti-subsidy duties are frowned upon (though not explicitly prohibited by WTO rules).
– “Dumping” is the act of charging a lower price for a product in a foreign market than is charged for the same product in a domestic market, otherwise known as selling at less than “fair value.”
– Anti-subsidy duties, also known as “countervailing duties,” are imposed on imports from countries that award unfair financial subsidies to their domestic manufacturers within a particular industry.
Europe imports more biodiesel from the U.S. than any other country, and the total grew from about 7,000 metric tons 2005 to over 1.5 million metric tons last year. EU biodiesel producers began complaining publicly about getting “hammered” from “splash & dash” biodiesel in April of last year.
Washington still has time to challenge the new anti-subsidy tax, but any sort of litigation related to the issue will take years to complete.
Photo Credit: Quin.anya via Flickr under CC License.