RFA supports tariffs on Brazilian ethanol
The Renewable Fuels Association on Wednesday praised President Donald Trump’s statement Monday that his administration is considering reciprocal tariffs on fuel ethanol imports from Brazil.
The country’s existing tariff rate quota (TRQ) is set to expire at the end of August, and some Brazilian industry and government officials have suggested that all U.S. ethanol should be subject to a tariff of at least 20 percent beginning in September, RFA noted.
In response to a reporter’s question about Brazil’s tariff on ethanol, President Trump on Monday said, “… as far as Brazil is concerned, if they do tariffs, we have to have an equalization of tariffs. … you may be seeing something on that very soon,” RFA said.
Following Trump’’s remarks, RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper wrote in a letter to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, “While we would strongly prefer a return to the free and fair two-way ethanol trade relationship that we enjoyed with Brazil between 2012 and late 2017, it has become clear that the Brazilian ethanol industry (and some of the nation’s political leaders) no longer share our desire for free and open markets.“
“Regarding ethanol trade, Brazil has chosen a path of protectionism and obstruction; unfortunately, at this point, it appears we have no choice but to respond in kind,” Cooper wrote.
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