US Congressman pushes for increased ethanol exports

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Dr Roger Marshall, US Congressman and co-chairman of the House Biofuels Caucus, is working to boost ethanol exports.

Kansas is home to 10 biofuel facilities, which provide high-quality jobs for plant workers in rural areas and use more than 25% of all corn grown in the state, as well as thousands of bushels of soybeans and milo annually.

In total, the biofuel industry is responsible for nearly $4 billion (€3.36 billion) in annual economic contribution, making it a vital piece of Kansas’ agriculture industry, according to Marshall.

“As co-chairman of the House Biofuels Caucus, I understand the huge impact the biofuels industry has on all regions of Kansas,” said Congressman Marshall. “I have been a strong supporter of the industry and continue to advocate to US Trade Representative (USTR) Lighthizer and chief agricultural negotiator Ambassador Gregg Doud on behalf of biofuels and all of our state’s agriculture industries.”

Congressman Marshall recently joined 19 of his colleagues in writing to USTR Robert Lighthizer asking the Trump Administration to prioritise fair and equitable treatment of the US ethanol industry during the recently announced bilateral trade negotiations with Brazil.

Specifically, Congressman Marshall encouraged the Trump Administration to urge Brazil to end the ethanol tariff rate quote and prohibitive 20% tariff on out-of-quota imports, in favour of reinstating the zero-duty exemption for US ethanol from Brazil’s Common External Tariff that was in effect from 2012-2017.

“Ethanol is foundational to the trade relationship with Brazil and accounts for nearly half of all US agricultural exports to the country,” added Congressman Marshall. “This economic activity is injected directly back into the communities we serve in the form of employee wages, feedstock payments to farmers, and continued investments in our ethanol facilities.

“Brazil’s inequitable treatment of US ethanol creates economic strain throughout the US ethanol industry, especially during a year in which COVID-19 is devastating fuel demand in our country.”