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U.S. Ethanol to Seek Tariff Relief from Brazil’s President, Then Possible Countervailing Duty

The U.S. ethanol industry, facing a renewed 18 percent tariff going into Brazil, plans to appeal its failed case with Brazil’s Economic Ministry directly to Brazil’s president. Failing that, it could seek U.S. retaliation.

The years-long battle with Brazil over its steep tariff on U.S. ethanol has come to a head with American industry groups now planning to take their fight to a higher level.

“Going directly to the president level and arguing that ethanol needs to be put back on a list, which it used to be on, that is kind of a ‘no tariff list,” according to Renewable Fuels Association’s Troy Bredenkamp. “If that fails, I do think we have to be looking at all options on the table, and that would have to include a countervailing duty.”

The protectionist 18 percent tariff upheld by Brazil’s Economy Ministry drew protests from the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, and RFA over its unfairness.

“There’s 18 percent coming into the country,” says Bredenkamp. “We don’t have that coming into ours. Ironically, there’s not a lot of ethanol moving up to the United States, and we had one of our recent reports that there is some ethanol moving into Brazil, even with that 18 percent tariff. But it’s not a fair trading practice.”

Story courtesy of Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau and NAFB News Service

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