President Donald Trump, today, reaffirmed he will approve year-round sales of 15-percent ethanol fuels without a Renewable Identification Number (RIN) cap. However, he has asked Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to work out the details on an additional item: Reallocating RINs from exempted small refinery gallons to ethanol exports.
“We appreciate the Trump Administration’s strong support of the Renewable Fuel Standard, but the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is concerned any move that would relate RINs to exporting ethanol could be severely detrimental to the competitiveness of ethanol exports and would harm the U.S. grains industry,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and CEO. “We believe RINs for exported ethanol could be perceived as an export subsidy, against our World Trade Organization obligations. They could put a target on our back globally.”
U.S. ethanol producers are some of the most cost-competitive industries in the world, and as such, believe in free and fair trade within the global marketplace. Last year, ethanol exports reached a record high of 1.37 billion gallons.
“We are already seeing the impact of trade policy barriers on ethanol exports and we would like to have the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) look at the implications of export credits for RINs,” Sleight said.