Ethanol Blog

Ethanol, Grains Groups Push for Ethanol Tariff on Brazilian Imports

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Environmental Editor
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U.S. ethanol and grain groups are pushing for restrictions on Brazilian ethanol imported into the U.S. unless Brazil permanently removes its tariff on U.S. ethanol. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- With Brazil increasing its tariff on ethanol imported from the U.S. from 16% to 18% this year, the Renewable Fuel Association, Growth Energy and the U.S. Grains Council said in a news release on Wednesday they are pushing for restrictive U.S. entry for Brazilian ethanol unless that nation permanently removes the tariff on U.S. ethanol.

In October 2023, ABICOM (the Brazil association of fuel importers) formally requested a reduction in ethanol duties because the tariff reportedly raised fuel costs for domestic consumers.

In anticipation of an open comment period, the three groups submitted joint comments to the Brazilian government:

"Considering this significant discrepancy in our historically productive commercial relationship between countries, we would like to stress that the U.S. industry will continue to advocate for restrictive measures to entry for Brazilian ethanol into the U.S. in the case that the Brazilian government does not rethink the current tariff policies," the groups said.

"Despite the promising opportunities emerging new ethanol export markets could bring to both countries, we stress that we are not willing to cooperate with Brazil in any possible partnerships, nor with technology transferring or within new uses for ethanol such as SAF (sustainable aviation fuel), in case the market is not completely open for free trade for ethanol. We strongly consider the permanent reinstatement of the duty-free access for ethanol as a window of opportunity to strengthen the bilateral agenda and stimulate trade cooperation between Brazil and the United States."

Last month a group of Republican members of Congress sent two separate letters to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and a second letter to President Joe Biden and Tai.

In the first letter, the 20 lawmakers led by Reps. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, and Darin LaHood, R-Illinois, asked Tai and Vilsack to "engage" during the public-comment period to assure the interests of U.S. farmers and biofuels producers are represented.

In the second letter, the lawmakers asked the administration to remove trade barriers and to open new export markets for farmers and biofuels producers.

The Foreign Trade Chamber at the Brazil Ministry of the Economy, or CAMEX, reinstated the import tariff on American ethanol on Feb. 1, 2023, and is planning to raise the tariff "while ethanol shipped to the United States from Brazil receives duty-free treatment," the letter said.

Read more on DTN:

"Lawmakers Press Biden Administration to Fight Brazil Ethanol Tariff, Open Ag, Biofuels Trade,"…

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