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In a gesture to improve biofuel trade relations with the U.S. and other countries, Brazil's Council of Ministers of the Board of Foreign Trade (MDIC) has temporarily lifted the country's tariff on imported ethanol, changing the tax rate from 20 percent to zero percent. The tariff will be lifted through the end of 2011.

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The 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on ethanol will survive the ongoing energy bill negotiations on Capitol Hill. The Senate voted to keep the tariff 56-36, according to the Des Moines Register. This tariff makes imported ethanol more expensive, just as the 51-cent-per-gallon tax credit makes domestic ethanol cheaper.

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