July 30,2009

Press Contact:

Jill Kozeny, 202/224-1308

Jill Gerber 202/224-6522

Grassley Pleased with Administration Commitment to Ethanol Tariff, Suspends Hold on Nominee

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa today responded to a letter of July 29 from U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the U.S. tariff on ethanol. A day earlier, Grassley wrote to them expressing concerns that the President’s nominee to be Ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, had stated that the removal of the tariff would be “beneficial.” The nominee’s view was at variance with President Obama’s stance on the ethanol tariff as a U.S. senator and a presidential candidate. In his letter, Grassley sought clarification of the President’s position on the ethanol tariff. Grassley also stated that he expected a response to his letter before a Senate vote on the nominee would occur.    

Here is Grassley’s comment on the Kirk- Clinton letter.

“I’m glad the Administration made clear so quickly that the President supports maintaining the 54 cent-per gallon tariff on imported ethanol. Like me, the President recognizes the importance of domestic biofuels. I look forward to working with the President to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign fuels and promote economic development in rural America. In light of the Administration’s very clear response, I’ll lift my objection to proceeding to Mr. Shannon’s nomination.”

The Kirk-Clinton letter is attached. The text of Grassley’s letter is in the news release