Ag trade leader says reducing biofuel tariffs a challenge

The chief ag negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says there have been some challenges reducing tariffs as work continues to improve global market access for U.S. biofuels.

Doug McKalip says one of the biggest hurdles has been removing Brazil’s 18% tariff on U.S. biofuels. McKalip says he recently met with Brazil leaders and had straightforward discussions, “As a result of that conversation, Secretary (Neri) Gellar promised to me that he would go back, meet with the Brazilian CAMEX (Foreign Trade Chamber), and to put together a proposal for us on how they might change their direction.”

McKalip says he is expecting to hear more from Brazil at the World Trade Organization’s Ministerial Conference later this month.

McKalip says conversations continue with China and other Indo-Pacific countries to provide more regulatory certainty for U.S. products through import/export licensing, “That’s also going to be a big focus for me and our team in places like Indonesia, Thailand, etc., Singapore, over course of the next few months.”

Brownfield’s Carah Hart interviewed McKalip at the 2024 National Ethanol Conference in San Diego, California.

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