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World Bank President Zoellick Calling for U.S. to Lift Tariff on Brazilian Ethanol

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

"At a minimum" the United States should lift its tariff on Brazilian ethanol, which otherwise would be cheaper than U.S.-produced ethanol, Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, suggested today at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization conference on climate change, bioenergy and food.  

He noted that the biofuels boom is a contributing factor, not the primary cause, of higher global food prices, and said he supports the new generation of cellulosic ethanol. "It would be a shame if [biofuels] became the dominant issue," said Zoellick, who previously served as U.S. Trade Rrepresentative.

During his interview with CongressDaily, Zoellick also supported providing money for poor people affected by rising food prices, making seeds available to farmers quickly and ending export bans that developing countries have placed on rice and other commodities to avoid increases in domestic food prices and possible civil unrest in their own countries.

FAO Director General Jacques Diouf used the event to criticize corn-based ethanol, calling it "incomprehensible" that up to $12 billion in U.S. subsidies are used to divert 100 million tons of cereals from human consumption "mostly to satisfy a thirst for fuels for vehicles."

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