Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Susan Schwab indicated that the ethanol import tariff is “explicitly permitted” under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. The letter was in response to questions raised by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) about whether the import tariff violates WTO rules.

Grassley said, “Besides the fact that the ethanol tariff is perfectly in line with WTO obligations, it is also in line with our domestic energy policy which focuses on using homegrown ethanol to help rural communities across the country rather than sending more dollars to the Middle East or Brazil. Brazil has yet to even take advantage of exporting ethanol duty-free to the United States through the Caribbean Basin Initiative. Until Brazil takes full advantage of its ability to export ethanol duty-free, I don’t see why we should give Brazilian ethanol more generous treatment.”