The European Union plans to threaten to tack tariffs onto U.S. bioethanol imports over concerns that American producers may be using trade-distorting government aid to sell in Europe below cost, an internal EU document shows.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm in Brussels, may announce inquiries into the U.S. subsidies and so- called dumping by Nov. 25, said Barry Magee, a spokesman at the ethanol lobby group ePure. The probes may result in extra taxes on U.S. producers such as Poet LLC, Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Valero Energy Corp. The document was on the EU’s website.
The U.S. government has subsidized ethanol since the Energy Tax Act of 1978 was enacted under President Jimmy Carter. President George W. Bush made it the centerpiece of his plan to cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil as fuel prices climbed.