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Jerry Moran : In Advance of Bolsonaro Meetings, Senators Urge POTUS to Take Action on Wheat Exports to Brazil

03/15/2019 | 12:44am EDT

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) led a group of 11 senators in urging President Trump to take action and resolve a longstanding trade barrier U.S. agricultural producers face when exporting wheat to Brazil. President Trump plans to meet with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro next week at the White House.

'Brazil agreed to establish a 750,000 metric ton (MT) duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) for wheat at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over two decades ago,' wrote the senators. 'Unfortunately, Brazil has failed to fulfill that commitment and continues to apply a 10 percent tariff on wheat from countries not included in the South American Mercosur trade bloc. As a result of the tariff, U.S. wheat faces a competitive disadvantage when exporting to Brazil, especially compared to Argentina.'

'We are encouraged by President Bolsonaro's stated support for building a stronger relationship between the United States and Brazil, and believe eliminating this longstanding trade barrier for U.S. wheat exports would be a demonstrable action to strengthen the economic ties between our countries,' continued the senators. 'Not only would establishing the TRQ increase export opportunities for American farmers, it would also benefit certain Brazilian flour mills that have petitioned their own government in the past to remove the tariff to increase their access to high-quality U.S. wheat.'

The letter is cosigned by U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-S.D.) Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and John Thune (R-S.D.).

Item to note:

  • On February 27, Sens. Moran and Roberts sent a letter to USTR Robert Lighthizer urging him to take action on the Brazil wheat TRQ.

Full text of the letter can be found here and below.

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump:

Thank you for your efforts to address foreign trade practices that harm American farmers and ranchers. We write to encourage you to prioritize the elimination of a longstanding trade barrier for U.S. wheat exports to Brazil during President Jair Bolsonaro's visit to the United States.

Brazil agreed to establish a 750,000 metric ton (MT) duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) for wheat at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over two decades ago. Unfortunately, Brazil has failed to fulfill that commitment and continues to apply a 10 percent tariff on wheat from countries not included in the South American Mercosur trade bloc. As a result of the tariff, U.S. wheat faces a competitive disadvantage when exporting to Brazil, especially compared to Argentina.

We are encouraged by President Bolsonaro's stated support for building a stronger relationship between the United States and Brazil, and believe eliminating this longstanding trade barrier for U.S. wheat exports would be a demonstrable action to strengthen the economic ties between our countries. Not only would establishing the TRQ increase export opportunities for American farmers, it would also benefit certain Brazilian flour mills that have petitioned their own government in the past to remove the tariff to increase their access to high-quality U.S. wheat.

It has been conservatively estimated establishing the TRQ would result in $75 to over $120 million in additional annual U.S. wheat sales to Brazil, depending on the portion of the TRQ filled by U.S. exporters. At a time when many farmers are struggling to make ends meet as a result of low prices and declining revenues, it is critical to work to expand market opportunities for U.S. farm commodities. We believe engaging the new Brazilian administration on the wheat TRQ as part of larger discussions to enhance the economic cooperation between our countries can result in eliminating a trade barrier that harms both American and Brazilian stakeholders.

We appreciate your administration's efforts to hold other countries to trade obligations and look forward to working with you to eliminate trade barriers for U.S. wheat exports to Brazil.

# # #

Disclaimer

Jerry Moran published this content on 14 March 2019 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 15 March 2019 05:38:07 UTC


© Publicnow 2019
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