Commission fails to defend its agriculture in anti-dumping file against Argentinian biodiesel

Last year, the European Commission abruptly ended anti-dumping duties on Argentinian imports of biodiesel made from soy. This was immediately followed by a complaint by the European Biodiesel Bureau, aiming to introduce a countervailing duty that would offset subsidies given by the Argentinian State to its exporting biodiesel industry.

However, against all logic, on 21 September the Commission concluded that it did not have all the available data to impose such measures – despite the fact it recognises that Argentina has introduced an illegal subsidy system.

A Europe that protects?

This decision is simply incomprehensible for European oilseed farmers and the biodiesel sector, who saw a whopping 1.5 million tonnes of Argentinian soy biodiesel enter the EU between September 2017 and July 2018 (with a peak of 222,000 tonnes in July).

In the context of increasing trade tensions (a similar complaint is being made against heavily subsidised Indonesian biodiesel), “European farmers are once again being held hostage”, said EOA President Arnaud Rousseau. While the US administration has decided to introduce countervailing duties against subsidised biodiesel from Argentina in the beginning of the year, the inaction of the EU and its trade defence policy leads to even greater volumes of Argentinian biodiesel entering the EU.

“While the EU had promised a Europe that protects, empowers and defends, we fear that these setbacks, only a few months before European elections, could be felt as an abandonment of the farming sector and fuel populist votes,” added Arnaud Rousseau.

To avoid this and mitigate the serious deficiencies of the Commission in this file, we urge all Member States to raise this issue during the Trade Defence Instruments Committee of 3 October and defend the European oilseed sector.