U.S. wheat could receive tariff-free access to Brazil

U.S. wheat could receive tariff-free access to Brazil
Mar 18, 2019

Presidents Trump and Balsonaro expected to meet in Washington, D.C. this week

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

American wheat farmers could benefit from meetings between U.S. and Brazilian officials.

Brazil could be ready to start importing 750,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat annually without tariffs. The agreement could be finalized Tuesday during a meeting with Teresa Cristina Dias, Brazil’s ag minister, and Sonny Perdue, the U.S. ag secretary, Reuters reported.

U.S. President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Balsonaro are also expected to meet this week.

This decision on wheat mean the South American country is following through on a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement.

When Brazil joined the WTO in 1995, one of its commitments included allowing 750,000 metric tons (680,250 tons) of wheat to enter the country duty-free annually from countries that don’t have pre-existing free trade agreements.

Instead, the country has applied a 10 percent tariff on wheat imports from non-Mercosur (a trade bloc made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) countries.

Removing the import duties on U.S. wheat could have a significant affect, U.S. senators said.

Lifting the 10 percent tariff could result in “US$75 to over US$120 million in additional annual U.S. wheat sales to Brazil,” 11 U.S. senators said in a letter to President Trump.

Brazil will ask for its own market access in exchange for the U.S. wheat imports.

Representatives from Brazil hope the U.S. will once again allow imports of fresh Brazilian beef. The U.S. suspended beef imports from Brazil in 2017 after reports surfaced of inspectors taking bribes to overlook quality concerns.

Brazil may also ask the U.S to import limes that are facing phytosanitary hurdles, and for tariff-free access for its sugar, Reuters reported.

Farms.com has reached out to U.S. wheat farmers for comment.

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