WASHINGTON, DC, US — The Foreign Trade Chamber at Brazil’s Ministry of the Economy (CAMEX) upheld an 18% tariff on US ethanol despite requests from US industry groups, the government and Brazilian fuel importers for a permanent removal.

Those groups previously submitted comments urging for the removal during a public consultation period that ended on April 11.

 “We remain extremely disappointed with this result and urge CAMEX and the Brazilian government to remove tariff barriers on US ethanol and use this as an opportunity to strengthen the bilateral agenda and stimulate trade cooperation between Brazil and the United States,” said the US Grains Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association in a joint statement. “This tariff has placed a heavy financial burden on Brazilian consumers in a misdirected effort to protect the domestic Brazilian ethanol industry, which enjoys free and increasing access to the US market.

“The US industry remains united in seeking parity with Brazilian exports with reciprocal market access and will seek to take additional measures to rectify this unfair tariff treatment.”

The Brazilian government dropped the tariff from March 2022 through January 2023 to help fight rising inflation. The tariff was reinstated on Feb. 1, 2023, at 16% and increased to 18% on Jan. 1 of this year.

In 2023, Brazil’s ethanol imports were estimated at 405 million liters with virtually no imports from the United States, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

During 2022, when the tariff was lifted, 212 million liters of its 316 million liters of imports came from the United States.

Brazil exported 2.44 billion liters of ethanol in 2022, with 462 million liters headed to the United States.