WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Brazil is considering granting an import quota of 750,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat per year without tariffs in exchange for other trade concessions, Reuters reported.
That amounts to about 10% of Brazilian annual wheat imports and is part of a two-decades-old commitment to import 750,000 tonnes of wheat a year free of tariffs that Brazil made during the World Trade Organization Uruguay Round of talks on agriculture but never adopted.
Farm state senators have asked that wheat sales be on the agenda, in a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump seen by Reuters. They estimate such a quota would increase U.S. wheat sales by between $75 million and $120 million a year.
Brazil buys most of its imported wheat from Argentina, and some for Uruguay and Paraguay, without paying tariffs because they are all members of the Mercosur South American customs' union. Imports from other countries pay a 10% tariff.
A Brazilian official, who asked not to be named so he could speak freely, told Reuters the wheat quota could be sealed during a meeting between Brazil's Agriculture Minister Teresa Cristina Dias and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on March 19.
In return, the Brazilian government is hoping to see movement toward the reopening of the U.S. market to fresh beef imports from Brazil that were shut down after a meat-packing industry scandal involving bribed inspectors, according to Reuters.