An Iowa senator calls upon the United States Trade Representative to help remove a tariff threatening the U.S. ethanol industry.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer a letter. In the letter, Senator Grassley demanded Ambassador Lighthizer to directly engage the Brazilian government in the removal of the tariff rate quota imposed on United States ethanol imports.
“The U.S. ended its tariff on ethanol in 2011. The expiration of this ethanol tax credit marked the end to major federal support for ethanol in the United States. Since then, the U.S. renewable fuels industry has continued to make investments, ranging from feed stock development to infrastructure based upon the current marketplace. Therefore, we must hold our trading partners accountable when they engage in these sorts of protectionist actions,” Grassley said.
Brazil imposed a 20 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol imports after a 600-million-liter tariff rate quota. The tariff, effective August 23, will remain in place for two years.
Grassley said the United States and Brazil have engaged in ethanol trade for several years, signaling a maturing nature within the global biofuels industry.
“In 2016, the U.S. exported 264 million gallons of ethanol to Brazil,” Grassley said. “Current trends indicate 2017 to be even larger for our U.S. ethanol producers.”