The U.S. ethanol industry is asking U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to suspend Brazil’s designated country status under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) due to “protectionist and market distorting actions in implementing a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) that affects imports of U.S. ethanol.”
A letter was sent to Lighthizer this week, signed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy, and the US Grains Council.
“They’ve imposed a trade quota of only about 150 million gallons a year, when we’ve been shipping close to 500 million, and imposed a 20 percent tariff on every gallon over the quota,” said RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen. “That’s particularly galling because Brazil is …the third largest beneficiary of GSP eligible trade at more than 2.2 billion dollars a year.”
Dinneen says that has driven a $2.76 billion dollar trade deficit for agricultural products and ethanol. “They obviously no longer qualify for GSP treatment,” said Dinneen.
The industry will submit a formal petition soon.
Dinneen explains more in this Ethanol Report – Ethanol Report on Brazil GSP status