Farm subsidies have long been a thorny issue in Europe, both between the EU and the rest of the world and between member states. Many of the member countries have used subsidies to support their local farmers much to their neighbors chagrin. European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is now making statements that would be considered sacrilegious to subsidy supporters by saying that the EU should be open to biofuel imports.

EU policies should emphasize getting the the cleanest, cheapest fuels rather than pushing for domestic options that may not be as efficient. Currently Brazilian sugarcane ethanol is slapped with a seventy percent import tariff that EU produced corn ethanol is not subject too. Mandelson feels that EU policies should be focused on the environmental benefits by making sure that fuels are produced in a sustainable manner that doesn't include deforestation and excessive water use.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]

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