U.S. biofuels groups speak out on Brazil’s tariffs
Biofuels groups say the Brazilian tariffs on U.S. ethanol need to go.
Geoff Cooper with the Renewable Fuels Association says, “There was a tariff-free quota that allowed us to get some U.S. ethanol into Brazil duty-free, but the Brazilians let that quota expire.”
Cooper says a 90-day extension of Brazil’s tariff rate quota (TRQ) on imports of U.S. ethanol expired, meaning all gallons going to Brazil will be subject to that 20% tariff. “It will be incredibly disruptive. It will have an immediate and severe impact on U.S. exports to Brazil. Brazil has been our top market the past few years, and if this tariff remains in place, we certainly expect that to change.”
Cooper says it is incredibly frustrating that a deal could not be reached with Brazil before the TRQ expired. “Especially because the Brazilian producers enjoy free and unfettered access to our market, and not only that, regulations like California’s LCFS and even the federal RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) actually incentivize the use of imported sugar cane ethanol over the use of U.S. produced corn ethanol.”
Cooper says biofuel supporters are anxious to work with the new U.S. Trade Representative nominee Katherine Tai to address this issue.