Letter asks USTR to address ethanol trading shortfalls in Brazil

A bipartisan group of US Representatives is asking the Biden administration to address Brazil’s unfair trading policies impacting American ethanol.  

Ed Hubbard, general counsel and vice president for government affairs with the Renewable Fuels Association, says Brazil imposed tariffs in February and that’s reduced demand. “We’ve still been able to get some volume in there, albeit a lot less than we normally would have, but most of that has been impacted by the lack of competitiveness due to the tariff that’s been placed on US ethanol.”

Twenty-one members of the US House sent a letter to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Wednesday asking her to prioritize export competitiveness in the Brazilian market.

Hubbard tells Brownfield the US doesn’t levy a tariff against Brazil and California imports most of the ethanol for its low carbon fuel standard. “Our concern is that we’re just not getting reciprocal treatment. I mean, if we’re inviting those volumes in and they are putting a tariff on our volumes to Brazil that are needed from time to time, it’s just an unfair relationship.”

The letter was signed by Darin LaHood (R-IL), Mark Alford (R-MO), Don Bacon (R-NE), James Baird (R-IN), Mike Bost (R-IL), Nikki Budzinski (D-IL), Angie Craig (D-MN), Michelle Fischbach R-MN), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Brad Finstad (R-MN), Mike Flood (R-NE), Bill Foster (D-IL), Sam Graves (R-MO), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Zach Nunn (R-IA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Adrian Smith (R-NE), and Victoria Spartz (R-IN).

The letter also said the Representatives would work with USTR to consider other measures to protect farmers and biofuel producers to help counter the trade practices.

Hubbard says the industry along with the USDA’s Foreign Ag Service continues to work with Brazil to create an equitable agreement.

Ed Hubbard, General Counsel and VP of Government Affairs:

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