A statement from the venerable institution, no doubt wearing a stern expression and a sober suit, said this:
The EU has today initiated anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigations into imports of biodiesel from the United States. Examination by the European Commission of complaints lodged by European industry found that an investigation was warranted – sufficient evidence was provided of subsidies to the US biodiesel sector, as well as dumping of biodiesel in the European market. The complainant has argued that this has had an adverse effect on the European biodiesel industry. A detailed investigation by the Commission will now determine whether measures are justified under EU trade rules.
EU Spokesperson for Trade Peter Power said: “We have always said that the EU will not tolerate unfair trade practices, and will pursue vigorously any well founded complaint. The Commission will leave no stone unturned in these investigations and will act in accordance with the findings.”
(For anyone who hasn’t figured it out, it’s a spat over biodiesel, subsidised by the US government, which is dumped on the European market, making the price of biodiesel drop faster than you can say ‘trade war’.)
According to the EC, it was the European Biodiesel Board who dobbed in the US in late April.
With regard to the anti-subsidy complaint, the complainant has provided sufficient evidence of subsidies to the biodiesel sector in the USA. These subsidies would include federal excise and income tax credits as well as a federal programme of grants to finance increased production capacity. Various subsidy programmes would also exist at state level. In regard to the anti-dumping complaint, the complainant has provided sufficient evidence of dumping of biodiesel on the EU market.
The EC will now spring into action like a coiled sloth and deliver its findings by March next year.