New Ag Committee Chairs Disagree About Ethanol Tariffs

Cindy Zimmerman

According to a report from Truth About Trade & Technology, soon-to-be Agriculture Committee chairmen Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Collin Peterson are in disagreement over the lifting of tariffs on imported ethanol.

After earlier reports indicated Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, would support a lifting of tariffs on ethanol imported to the U.S. from abroad, the Minnesota Democrat Peterson took a hard line against such a move Friday.

“Are you serious?” Peterson said Friday after learning of Harkin’s stance on the tariff. “I’m not in favor of that. I think we’ve got plenty of ethanol production in this country coming online to meet the demand of this industry, and I for one am not interested in making any changes in the foreseeable future in that.”

In addition to diluting a now vibrant corn-based ethanol marketplace in the U.S., Peterson said allowing tariff-free ethanol imports would hamper efforts underway to develop cellulosic ethanol production, support for which Peterson says he hopes to include in the 2007 farm bill.

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Ethanol, Government, News