USDA official vows to fight Brazil's 20% tariff on US ethanol


The US will fight Brazil's quota and 20% tariff on US ethanol imports imposed in September, a US Department of Agriculture official said Wednesday.

Daniel Whitley, acting associate administrator of USDA's foreign agricultural service, called the action by Brazil "bogus, untimely and unfair."

"It just came out of left field," he said at the Renewable Fuels Association's National Ethanol Conference in San Antonio.

In September, Brazil imposed a 600 million liter/year tariff rate quota on a quarterly basis for two years. Volumes above the 150 million liter quarterly quota face a 20% tariff.

Whitley said the entire department was working on the issue.

"We are dedicated to resolving this issue," he said. "There is no stone we are not going to un-turn to open up this market."

Brazil is the second-largest ethanol producer in the world. It began importing large volumes of ethanol in 2016 as high sugar prices made the sweetener more attractive to sugarcane mills than ethanol.


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