Trade policy groups to discuss WTO biofuels issues

By Dave Nilles | October 13, 2006
Questions are being raised as to how biofuels and its feedstocks fit in as they take a more prominent role on the world's stage. An international trade policy group is offering its recommendations for how biofuels should be treated.

The International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) is releasing a paper on international biofuels trade issues Oct. 27 in Washington, D.C. Members of the Renewable Energy and International Law Project partnered on the publication.

The paper will discuss how international trade rules apply to the biofuels sector, according to IPC. Items include whether biofuels and their feedstocks should be classified as agricultural, industrial or environmental goods. It also discusses which WTO rules apply to government mandates and support policies to promote the production of biofuels.

University of Michigan Professor Robert Howse will discuss the paper's main findings. He is the principal trade expert for the Renewable Energy and International Law Project.

Opening remarks are expected from Robert Simon, minority staff director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The following will also provide commentary of the paper's findings:

--Weber Amaral, CEO of the Brazilian Biofuels Program and senior scientist with International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
--Carl Hausmann, CEO and President of Bunge North America
--Angelos Pangratis, deputy head of delegation for the European Commission
--Eric Sievers, senior associate with Baker & McKenzie's Biofuels Group, and Renewable Energy and International Law Project

IPC members span the globe and include Hausmann, ADM Chairman Allen Andreas and Cargill Senior Vice President Robbin Johnson. The paper was supported by the United Nations Foundation and the German Marshall Fund.

More information on the event is available here.

Dave Nilles is Online Editor for Biodiesel Magazine. Reach him at or (701) 373-0636.

Posted: 3:47 p.m. CDT Thursday, October 19, 2006
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