Ethanol Groups Push Legislative Action After Brazil Raises Tariff

September 11, 2017 11:38 AM

U.S. ethanol supporters are calling upon the government to respond to tariffs that Brazil placed on U.S. ethanol.

Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuel Association and the U.S. Grains Council are urging lawmakers to take action after Brazil’s Chamber of Foreign Trade imposed a two-year tariff rate quota for ethanol imports last month.

A 20 percent tariff will be tacked on to U.S. ethanol products once Brazil surpasses imports of 158 million gallons from the U.S.

Tom Sleight, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, says Brazil is not breaking any World Trade Organization rules with the temporary tariff, but it does break a “working agreement” the two nations have had for several years.

“The U.S. is Brazil’s number one market for ethanol,” said Sleight. “To eject a protectionist move into this arena makes no sense when barely months ago, two industries were talking together with how we can to continue to expand global trade in biofuels.”

He said he would like U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to talk with his Brazilian counterpart to work out the tariff issue.

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