Free Trade Impact on U.S. Ethanol Reviewed

Febrauary 26, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] At their Missouri headquarters, following a review of the details of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Board voted to support the deal, citing its favorable provisions for corn growers. NCGA President Dee Vaughan refuted recent media reports that CAFTA will have a negative impact on the U.S. ethanol industry. Despite news stories and independent studies that have claimed CAFTA will make U.S.-produced corn sweetener and ethanol uncompetitive, Vaughn, on the contrary, expressed faith that the agreement would not have any damaging effects on U.S. ethanol. Vaughan said that CAFTA would have absolutely no impact on the way ethanol is traded, because the import rules for ethanol are governed by an entirely separate initiative (the Caribbean Basin Initiative) that has been in place since 1990. Vaughn insisted that the duty-free access conditions established by that agreement would not change.

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