Commerce Department authorizes anti-dumping duties on imported biodiesel

Biodiesel makers in Argentina and Indonesia should face anti-dumping duties of up to 277 percent on their shipments to the United States, ruled the Commerce Department in a case brought by domestic producers.

U.S. agrees not to extend Gulf snapper season in court order

Conservationists are expressing relief over the U.S. Department of Commerce’s agreement not to extend the 2018 recreational fishing season for Gulf of Mexico red snapper beyond what science warrants. An extension in 2017 had threatened the already over-exploited fishery. (No paywall)

Commerce orders anti-dumping duties on biodiesel imports

Argentina has requested negotiations with the United States on a "suspension" agreement that would avoid imposition of stiff U.S. anti-dumping duties on its biodiesel exports, said the Commerce Department. The negotiations were announced at the same time the department ordered anti-dumping duties of up to 70 percent on the fuel.

Countervailing duties levied on Argentine, Indonesian biodiesel

Argentina and Indonesia unfairly subsidize the production of biodiesel fuel, so the United States will levy countervailing duties as high as 68 percent on the imported fuel, which competes with U.S.-made biodiesel, said the Commerce Department in a preliminary ruling. “Even friendly nations must play by the rules,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Ross’s flounder decision flouts protocol, say critics

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sided with New Jersey and broke longstanding protocol on a regional approach to preservation of the summer flounder, one of the most-fished species in the Northeast, says the Boston Globe. By rejecting the recommendations of a commission that oversees fishing issues on the East Coast — an unprecedented step — Ross raised "deep concerns about political meddling" and effectively will allow New Jersey to harvest more flounder, it says.

Farm groups worry that U.S. trade actions on steel will boomerang

The United States is the world's largest ag exporter, with sales generating 20 cents of each $1 in farm income, so farm groups fear they will be casualties of a trade war if the Trump administration restricts imports of steel and aluminum. In a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, 18 food and agricultural organizations said any nation could claim national security as the reason to keep out U.S. food exports.

U.S. sees impasse over sugar from Mexico, says it will collect duties

At the same time the White House plans to renegotiate NAFTA, the Trump administration says it will collect antidumping and countervailing duties on sugar from Mexico unless that country agrees to limit shipments to the U.S.

Traceability rule for seafood imports is released

The Commerce Department issued a final rule intended to crack down on illegal fishing and fraudulent sales of seafood imports. The result of years of work, the rule will require a paper trail from the fishing boat to the U.S. border for cargo deemed at risk of mislabeling or illegal fishing, said the Wall Street Journal.

Bakers protest, growers applaud US-Mexico sugar deal

The American Bakers Association says a tentative U.S.-Mexico agreement to control imports of sugar from Mexico "is not good for bakers or all other users of sugar," says Baking Business.