China, Brazil Spark Global Trade War over Biofuels — Ethanol Leaders Expect Trump to Return Fire
by Ben Wolfgang (The Washington Times) Throughout his campaign, President Trump voiced unwavering support for U.S. ethanol. Now that he’s in the White House, industry leaders say it’s time for Mr. Trump to back up his words with action by returning fire against Brazil and China in what increasingly looks like a global trade war over biofuels.
The administration, ethanol sector leaders say, is weighing how to respond to China’s penalty on ethanol imports and, more recently, a move by Brazil to slap a 20 percent tariff on all American ethanol after a 600 million liter quota. Both tariffs are expected to wreak havoc on the U.S. ethanol industry, which is highly dependent on growing export markets in China, Brazil, and other nations around the world.
Neither the Commerce Department nor the U.S. Trade Representative’s office responded to requests for comment on how the administration may respond. But pressure on the White House to push back swiftly and strongly is growing by the day.
While the U.S. could respond by slapping a tariff on Brazilian sugar cane ethanol, such a move ultimately would make it more difficult to meet obligations under the RFS and could carry other unforeseen consequences. READ MORE