On Monday, nine U.S. House members sent a letter to U.S. Trade Ambassador Michael Froman, urging him to examine opportunities to reduce any tariffs on U.S. produced energy, including ethanol, during the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-Tip) negotiations. In response, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement:
“We wish to thank the nine lawmakers for informing the ambassador that ‘[t]he U.S. ethanol industry has been unfairly targeted by the EU for increased duties.’ The duties imposed were unjustified and blatantly protectionist. Sadly, the real losers in this are European consumers that have to pay more for motor fuel because the lowest-cost liquid fuel in the world — U.S. ethanol — has been targeted by their protectionist policy. Since Europe cannot produce sufficient domestic ethanol supply, and must import the fuel from foreign sources, including the U.S., it is time to see the duties removed.”
The European Commission began an ethanol antidumping investigation in October 2011 in response to a complaint lodged by European ethanol trade group ePURE. In May 2013, RFA and Growth Energy filed a complaint with the General Court in Luxembourg, challenging the Commission’s decision to impose a 9.6 percent antidumping duty on all ethanol imported from the United States. The challenge is still being litigated.
Despite repeated requests, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has so far declined to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization challenging the legality of the duties.