House approves urgency to suspend ethanol quota increase without tariff

The Plenary of the House of Representatives approved by a large majority on Tuesday urgent regime for the proposal that suspends the increase of the import quota of ethanol to 750 million liters annually without the incidence of 20% tax.

The urgency regime, which expedites the processing of the project by Deputy Aguinaldo Ribeiro (PP-PB), was approved by 319 votes to 101.

The project, if approved, suspends the effects of the ordinance published less than two weeks ago in the Official Gazette, which raised the quota volume – which was 600 million liters a year and was about to expire – and stipulated validity for 12 months. .

The ordinance mainly favors the United States , the main exporters of ethanol to Brazil, which accounted for 99.7% of Brazilian biofuel imports in 2018.

The project that halts the quota increase finds support among deputies from the Northeast , a major importer of US ethanol.

There is no date and no intention among the deputies to vote on the merits of the proposal, according to two sources consulted.

One of them views the urgency vote on Tuesday as a message. Deputies, mainly from the Northeast, were already resisting the complex ordinance, which also did not count on the sympathy of members from other states.

Added to this is the dissatisfaction related to the release of parliamentary amendments. With the approval of the merit, the project is triggered, to be pinched, if something happens that displeases the deputies.

Faced with the weather, Minister of Agriculture Tereza Cristina, who was attending a hearing in the Government’s leadership in the House, met with leaders and promised the presence of members of the government – from her portfolio and also from the Economy – to discuss the issue. next week with deputies.

The increase in the quota-free ethanol import came after US President Donald Trump’s meeting with Brazilian Foreign Minister Eduardo Araújo and Federal Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro to the country’s embassy in Washington.

According to the Sugarcane Industry Union (Unica), which represents producers in the south-central region and even defended the end of the quota, the establishment of a larger import volume without tariff would involve the opening of the North American sugar market. sugar, one of the most protected in the world.