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Opposition to the Import Tariff Grows

by Joel Velasco on Apr 30, 2010

Earlier this week, in their article “Taking Biofuels to the Next Level,” the Center for American Progress called for phasing down the tariff on imported ethanol. Today the chorus of voices swells to include the major livestock, poultry and meat producers in the U.S.

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Earlier this week, in their article “Taking Biofuels to the Next Level,” the Center for American Progress called for phasing down the tariff on imported ethanol. Today the chorus of voices swells to include the major livestock, poultry and meat producers in the U.S.

In a signed letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, the American Meat Institute, National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council and National Cattleman’s Beef Association urged an end to both ethanol subsidies and the import tariff, stating:

"Although we support the need to advance renewable and alternative sources of energy, we strongly believe that it is time that the mature corn-based ethanol industry operates on a level playing field with other commodities that rely on corn as their major input. Favoring one segment of agriculture at the expense of another does not benefit agriculture as a whole or the consumers that ultimately purchase our products."

As you know, I share this sentiment – with the industry now exporting corn ethanol at record highs – there is little to debate about their maturity and readiness to compete in an open market. In order for that to happen, we must let these fuels compete without trade barriers or market distortions. The livestock industry agrees, as their letter concludes:

"30 years of support has created a mature corn ethanol industry that now needs to compete fairly in the marketplace and allow for the next generation of renewable fuels to grow.  We strongly encourage you to oppose an extension of the VEETC and the import tariff on foreign ethanol that are set to expire this December."

Check out the full letter here (PDF).

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