WASHINGTON, D.C. — Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply Blairo Maggi tweeted this afternoon that CAMEX, Brazil’s Chamber of Foreign Trade, has approved a recommendation to impose a 20 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol imports after a 600 million liter tariff rate quota. Local media are reporting this TRQ would be in place for the following two years, stymying access to a large and growing market for U.S. ethanol exports.

The following is a joint statement on this action from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen and Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor:

“We are disappointed and discouraged to see the ruling out of Brazil today imposing a tariff on U.S. ethanol. Given the tremendous volume of information we provided to Brazil that demonstrated how misguided a tariff would be, it seemed politics prevailed today and Brazilian consumers lost. Imposing tariffs on U.S. ethanol imports will hurt Brazilian consumers by driving up their costs at the pump. Additionally, this action goes against Brazil’s longstanding view that ethanol tariffs are inappropriate and will effectively close off an open and bilateral trading relationship that benefits all sides. We strongly urge this recommendation to be reversed as soon as possible and will work to that end through all available pathways.”

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We've gotten a lot of outreach from @USDA on how to make their new biofuel infrastructure inventive plan a success, and we're more than happy to help. This program can and should benefit everyone — farmers, biofuel producers, and consumers at the pump. https://t.co/WlawnszsdR

via @GrowthEnergy

Ray was the founding member of Big River Resources and a longtime Growth Energy Board member. We are all better off for knowing him and our community will feel this loss deeply. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and staff on this difficult day. You will be missed, Ray.

via @EmilySkor

To those of us within it, the ethanol industry often feels like a big family. Today that entire family mourns the loss of one of our own, Ray Defenbaugh. We will always remember his relentless spirit — his honesty, optimism, humor, and especially his fierce, fierce loyalty.

via @EmilySkor