Argentina’s government is investigating all options and reserves the right to take legal action over the United States’ imposition of steep duties on imports of Argentine biodiesel, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.
The statement said the imposition of duties above 50 percent, announced Tuesday, does not correspond to any type of methodology acceptable under the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In 2016, 90 percent of the 1.6 million metric tons of biodiesel Argentina exported went to the United States, Argentine government data show.
An Argentine industry group said Tuesday that the U.S. Commerce Department’s decision to slap countervailing duties of up to 64.17 percent on the imports would cause them to immediately stop exports to the United States.
“The Argentine government, along with the private sector, is cooperating with the investigation,” the statement said. “It has been established that Argentina does not award subsidies to biodiesel producers.”
The WTO last year ruled in favor of Argentina in a dispute over anti-dumping tariffs the European Union had applied to Argentine biodiesel, but the European Commission has not yet removed the tariffs.
The U.S. duties were announced a week after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence pledged to boost two-way trade in a visit to Buenos Aires.
“Argentina will seek to revert this preliminary decision defending the interest of our country, will evaluate all available options and reserves the right to bring forward pertinent legal action,” the statement said.