Questions About Ethanol Imports and Tariffs

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol imports and the Brazilian tariff made up the majority of questions from the media during the “Truth About Ethanol” press conference Tuesday. Why do we need to import any ethanol if the industry can meet the demand? How much ethanol will we import this year? What about a temporary waiver of the Brazilian import tariff? What are the secondary tariffs on ethanol? How does the Brazilian tariff fit into the WTO negotiations and is it vulnerable to a challenge? Do you expect an unsuccessful effort to repeal the tariff and by who? Obviously this is an issue that the media believes is important. RFA president Bob Dinneen did a very good job of explaining the entire tariff structure for ethanol in response to one question. What I found interesting was that because ethanol can enter the US duty free from a number of countries – such as those in the Caribbean Basin Initiative – Brazilian ethanol can basically circumvent the secondary tariff by going through another country. Listen to Dinneen’s entire explanation here.

Audio, Ethanol