By KEN PARKS
BUENOS AIRES -- The European Union has decided to slap
anti-dumping duties on biodiesel imported from Argentina and
Indonesia following an investigation at the behest of European fuel producers.
The duties are "provisional
and may be reconsidered for the purpose of any definitive
measures," according to a filing published this week in the
EU's Official Journal.
The EU launched an investigation into the alleged dumping
after the European Biodiesel Board, which
represents producers that account for 60% of EU biodiesel
production, lodged a complaint in July 2012.
EU biodiesel makers have long complained that subsidies and
incentives for biodiesel makers in Argentina and Indonesia give
them an unfair advantage.
Argentina's Foreign Ministry denounced the duties as an
attempt to shield EU companies from more competitive Argentine
"This is a protectionist decision that lacks technical
justification," the ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
Argentina frequently finds itself embroiled in trade
disputes with its major trade partners.
The South American country has filed complaints with the
World Trade Organization against US barriers to Argentine beef
Last year, the US, the EU, Japan and other countries filed
WTO complaints against Argentina's trade policies. President
Cristina Kirchner has resorted to controversial trade barriers
since late 2011 to help domestic industry and to reduce her
country's import bill.
Argentina is the world's top biodiesel exporter, but
production and exports have dropped off sharply since
September, when the government modified the industry's export
tax incentives. Biodiesel exports fell 11% on the year to $1.85
billion, according to Argentine data.
Earlier this month, Argentina filed a new WTO complaint
against the EU's biodiesel import rules.
Argentina has requested consultations with the EU. If those
talks don't resolve the dispute in a 60-day period, Argentina
can seek a WTO dispute settlement panel.
Argentina is challenging measures taken by the EU and
several member nations that affect the importation and
marketing of Argentine biodiesel. Argentina's complaint also
takes aim at EU subsidies for its biodiesel sector.
"The Argentine government considers restrictions on the
entry of Argentine biodiesel and other Argentine products in
the European market as obstacles to a
climate of constructive dialogue," the foreign ministry said
Dow Jones Newswires