Senators urge administration to fight European duty on ethanol exports

Earlier this year, the EC decided to impose a duty of $83.20 per metric ton of ethanol to penalize U.S. exporters for allegedly selling the chemical in the European Union below cost, also known as dumping. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“Actions taken by the European Commission set a dangerous precedent for trade between the United States and the E.U. and these unwarranted actions may violate numerous provisions of the World Trade Organization’s agreement on anti-dumping,” Thune said Tuesday in a press release highlighting the letter.

“As we move toward the trans-Atlantic trade talks, my colleagues and I are eager to learn more about how the E.C. conducted its investigation, and we urge [the U.S. Trade Representative] and Commerce [Department] to evaluate its ruling to ensure that no WTO commitments have been violated,” he said.

The senators urged the administration to fight this decision because it will harm the U.S. ethanol industry and representatives from the industry claim the dumping allegations are unfounded.

“The administration ought to take a very aggressive position against this penalty because of the way it violates trade law standards and practices that are well established,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who signed the letter. “What’s happened is an unfair trade practice, and the negative impact on the U.S. renewable energy industry is already measurable.”

The United States exports large amounts of ethanol to countries within the European Union, including the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also signed the letter.