The US has asked the Chinese trade negotiation team to cut tariffs on ethanol down to their pre-trade war levels, hoping that Chinese surging demand for the fuel will be a boon for American farmers.
China has yet to respond to the request, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “They are engaged in conversation, they listen and hear us, but we are at this stage unable to determine the willingness factor,” Purdue said.
China previously made up one-fifth of US ethanol exports, but this fell to just 4% last year as ethanol got mixed in with trade tensions. China imposed a 30% tariff on US ethanol in 2017, which it raised to 45% last year following the White House’s decision to tax aluminium and steel shipments. A new deal would lower tariffs to below 15% again, Perdue said.