The European Union has imposed an anti-dumping duty on ethanol for American producers. It’s suggested the World Trade Organization could challenge the duty.
Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, says the challenge is needed to keep world markets open for free trade.
Given the debate over the renewable fuel standard and whether the U.S. can absorb more biofuels, Sneller says it’s important to have additional alternatives, including export to places around the world, especially Europe.
Ethanol is responsible for about 1,200 jobs in Nebraska. The Husker State is the nation’s number-two ethanol producer, just behind Iowa.
Sneller says allowing the anti-dumping duty would set a dangerous precedent just ahead of negotiations between the U.S. and European Union on a Trans-Atlantic Free Trade agreement.
“To allow those programs in the European Union to grow in an orderly fashion and not artificially raise the price of biofuels, we really need to have free access to that market and vice versa,” Sneller says. “I think everybody understands that if we have free and fair trade, that it’s a two-way street.”
Nebraska has 24 ethanol plants operating with a capacity of more than 2-billion gallons a year and consuming 700-million bushels of corn.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton