Congressman Pushes Administration to Defend American Ag Industry
Sept. 8, 2020 – The Committee for Stronger Rural Communities applauded action taken by U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, to demand the Administration work to “level the playing field” with Brazilian trade counterparts, and allow U.S. ethanol producers duty-free access to that critical export market.
“Our farmers can’t take another trade war. We’ve already been dealing with economic uncertainty and loss of overseas markets due to other trade fights. Our corn growers need to know our government is working to keep export markets open – and Congressman Collin Peterson knows that’s worth fighting for,” said Kelly Erickson, chairman of the CSRC Steering Committee. “American farmers and ethanol producers can compete against Brazilian farmers and ethanol producers in a fair market. We shouldn’t have to compete against the Brazilian government. Congressman Peterson is fighting for Minnesota farmers, and he’s right to demand the Administration take action today.”
At issue is the disparity in market access between the United States and Brazil, a major global market for ethanol. In the United States, ethanol demand has bottomed out, as the economy has contracted and as oil producers are granted allowances to opt out of the Renewable Fuel Standard. This is increasing the importance of foreign markets, like Brazil, which has re-imposed a 20 percent tariff on American ethanol after a five-year period of duty-free access.
In a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Trade Representative signed by 19 other House members, Chairman Peterson demanded the USTR work to remove Brazilian tariffs on U.S. ethanol, noting that current Administration policy allows Brazilians free access to the American fuels market.
“Tariff wars have consequences, and our biofuel producers are seeing that firsthand,” Chairman Peterson said. You can read the bipartisan letter here.
About the CSRC:
A bipartisan committee, CSRC champions a policy agenda to strengthen rural America by supporting federal candidates who can make a significant, positive impact on rural America. In 2020, CSRC is focusing on the reelection of Rep. Collin Peterson, MN-07, because of his leadership and record of accomplishment on rural issues.