Brazil will raise the tariff-free quota for ethanol imports to 750m litres (198m gallons) per year, following a meeting between top officials and US President Donald Trump, according to Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico.
The previous tariff-free quota was 600m litres and expired over the weekend. Imports beyond the quota are subject to a 20% import tariff. Raising the quota is seen mainly benefiting the United States, the world’s largest ethanol producer.
The shift would result in a reduction of 270m reais ($65.54m) in tariff collections, Valor reported on Saturday.
Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo met with Trump at the White House on Friday, telling reporters afterward that the conversation ranged from trade to the Amazon rainforest fires but that there was nothing to immediately announce.
Brazil’s Foreign Ministry and Agriculture Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Brazil sugar industry group Unica praised the decision as a step toward market openness and an eventual opening of the United States to more Brazilian sugar.
"It was important for Brazil to make a gesture in favour of trade openness with the US, with home we’re seeing a broad free trade agreement," Unica said in a statement.