The European Union on Friday said it has launched an anti-dumping investigation into the United States over federal and state tax credits and other subsidy support for producers of ethanol fuel.
The European Commission has 15 months in which to address the complaint of "material injury" to E.U. producers, after an association of renewable ethanol producers -- ePURE -- claimed a 500% rise in E.U. imports of the fuel from the United States between 2008 and 2010.
The fuel is produced from sugar fermentation using mainly cereals, sugar beet and maize.
The European Union's Official Journal, or daily record of law, cited "prima facie" evidence produced by ePURE showing that imported volumes and prices had "among other consequences had a negative effect on the level of prices charged by the [E.U.] industry."
That resulted in "substantial, adverse effects on the overall performance and the financial situation of the [E.U.] industry."
The European Union spelled out that it will investigate U.S. federal subsidies issued in the form tax credits and a biofuel grant program, plus state-level support from Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Should the commission uphold the complaint, it could decide to impose import duties on U.S. bio-ethanol, as it has done with U.S. and Canadian biodiesel.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011