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USDA official vows to fight Brazil's 20% tariff on US ethanol

New York — The US will fight Brazil's quota and 20% tariff on US ethanol importsimposed in September, a US Department of Agriculture official saidWednesday.

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Daniel Whitley, acting associate administrator of USDA's foreignagricultural service, called the action by Brazil "bogus, untimely andunfair."

"It just came out of left field," he said at the Renewable FuelsAssociation's National Ethanol Conference in San Antonio.

In September, Brazil imposed a 600 million liter/year tariff rate quotaon a quarterly basis for two years. Volumes above the 150 million literquarterly quota face a 20% tariff.

Whitley said the entire department was working on the issue.

"We are dedicated to resolving this issue," he said. "There is no stonewe are not going to un-turn to open up this market."

Brazil is the second-largest ethanol producer in the world. It beganimporting large volumes of ethanol in 2016 as high sugar prices made thesweetener more attractive to sugarcane mills than ethanol.

-- Meghan Gordon, meghan.gordon@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Annie Siebert, newsdesk@spglobal.com