Has Administration's Position on Ethanol Imports Changed?

Has Administration's Position on Ethanol Imports Changed?

Grassley looks for clarification of President's stance on ethanol tariff.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wants to know if the White House's position on keeping the U.S. tariff on imported ethanol has changed. Grassley says President Obama supported keeping the U.S. tariff on imported ethanol as Senator and presidential candidate, however Thomas Shannon, the President's nominee for ambassador to Brazil, called removal of the tariff beneficial in his nomination hearing.

 

Grassley is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over international trade. He has long argued that the U.S. tariff on imported ethanol is appropriate. Brazil already can import ethanol tariff-free to the United States through Caribbean countries as part of a separate trade preferences program. The tariff-free treatment is subject to a cap, which Brazil has never come close to meeting.

 

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, agrees with Grassley, saying it does not help the nation's energy security to displace imported oil with imported ethanol. According to Buis eliminating the tariff would result in outsourcing green jobs from the U.S. at a time when unemployment rates are skyrocketing and slow the nation's efforts to become less dependent on foreign energy sources.

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