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Thune requests scrutiny of European ethanol decision

John Thune

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., this week sent a letter along with several of his colleagues urging evaluation of a recent decision by the European Commission to impose a country-wide anti-dumping duty on exports of U.S. ethanol.

The letter was sent to Acting U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Demetrios Marantis and Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Rebecca Blank

The duty of $83.20 per metric ton penalizes U.S. bioethanol exporters for allegedly selling ethanol in the European Union below cost, which is a practice known as dumping, according to a Thune news release. U.S. ethanol industry representatives dispute this EC allegation, Thune's release said, and the senators' letter expresses their concerns that the EC's action establishes a precedent that could change the limits of international anti-dumping laws.

"Actions taken by the European Commission set a dangerous precedent for trade between the United States and the EU and these unwarranted actions may violate numerous provisions of the World Trade Organization's agreement on anti-dumping," Thune said in a written statement. "As we move toward the trans-Atlantic trade talks, my colleagues and I are eager to learn more about how the EC conducted its investigation, and we urge USTR and Commerce to evaluate its ruling to ensure that no WTO commitments have been violated."