Chinese tariffs will cost U.S. Agriculture billions


HENNEPIN, IL – Marquis Energy, along with the entire American ethanol industry, were slapped with Chinese tariffs on Tuesday, that will go into effect on Thursday, January 12th.

“The Chinese tariffs are negatively impacting the U.S. ethanol industry’s exports, of not only ethanol, but our co-product of Dry Distillers Grain (DDG), a high-quality animal feed that is favored by Chinese livestock producers and is the largest export market for U.S. DDG,” says Mark Marquis, CEO of Marquis Energy.

U.S. farmers say these unfair tariffs will cost U.S. agriculture at least two billion dollars per year.

“These tariffs are the poster child of bad trade deals,” says Mark Marquis. “It is our opinion that the Chinese calculations are not in line with WTO trade rules.”

Preliminary tariffs on U.S. DDG, totaling more than 40 percent, were imposed by China several months ago, causing the price of DDG to drop by about 30 percent, or about $60 per ton, affecting the 36 million tons of DDG produced annually in the U.S. The combined tariffs, now totaling more than 80 percent, will effectively close the Chinese animal feed market to U.S. DDG.

The U.S. DDG industry cooperated with the Chinese tariff investigation, even hosting Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) investigators at several U.S. production facilities, including the Marquis Energy facility in Illinois. Nevertheless, China ignored the factual data provided by the U.S. industry, disregarded WTO trade rules and used its own unknown calculations to impose these punitive tariffs.

In early January, China also stated its intention to raise its 5 percent tariff on U.S. fuel ethanol to 30 percent. The ethanol industry, largely owned by corn growers across the U.S., is a significant contributor to the balance of trade between the U.S. and China.

Marquis Energy and U.S. farmers are hopeful that the new Trump administration will immediately take up the issue of these tariffs directly with China, rather than waiting the several years that a WTO challenge would take while the tariffs remain in place, harming U.S. trade.

With a production capacity of about one million gallons of fuel grade ethanol per day, Marquis Energy is the largest dry-mill ethanol facility in the United States.