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Is the U.S. Import Tariff on Brazilian Ethanol Justifiable?


  • Devadoss, Stephen
  • Kuffel, Martin


The United States has used tax credits and mandates to promote ethanol production. To offset the tax credits received by imported ethanol, the United States instituted an import tariff. This study provides insights about the quantitative nature of a U.S. trade policy that would establish a free-market price for ethanol, given the U.S. ethanol mandate and tax credit. The theoretical results from a horizontally related ethanol-gasoline partial equilibrium model show that the United States should provide an import subsidy rather than impose a tariff. The empirical results quantify that this import subsidy is 9 cents, instead of a 57 cent import tariff, per gallon of ethanol.

Suggested Citation

  • Devadoss, Stephen & Kuffel, Martin, 2010. "Is the U.S. Import Tariff on Brazilian Ethanol Justifiable?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 35(3), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:99107

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harry de Gorter & David R. Just, 2008. "The Economics of a Blend Mandate for Biofuels," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(3), pages 738-750.
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