On February 22, 2013, the European Union announced imposition of a 9.5 percent dumping duty on imports of bioethanol from the United States. In reaction, the U.S. government expressed serious concerns regarding the methodologies and irregularities of the investigation. Annual U.S. exports of bioethanol to the EU are estimated at $925 million. While antidumping duties are normally imposed on individual producers, in an unusual determination, a single tariff was imposed across all U.S. exporters. Sources indicated that the tariff needed to be based on data from traders as opposed to producers, because bioethanol producers did not know whether their fuel would be shipped to the EU. The duties will be applied to imports as of August 2012.
Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy, two U.S. trade groups, stated that the decision was “blatant protectionism at its worst,” and that they “will challenge this policy in every manner possible.” The decision by the EU can be appealed to the General Court, or the WTO, if the producers feel that the EU acted inconsistent with WTO obligations in its determination.