USGC: APEC roadmap supports development of global ethanol markets

By U.S. Grains Council | April 06, 2018

Constructing a national ethanol industry is a monumental task, but an effort that pays dividends economically and environmentally—as U.S. farmers and agribusinesses understand. The U.S. Grains Council is working alongside the U.S. government and with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to share the U.S. experience—and information about the benefits of policy with a role for trade—with quickly-growing markets throughout the Asia-Pacific rim.

APEC was established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific, and the organization’s 21 member economies aim to promote inclusive and innovative growth by accelerating regional economic integration. Since 2015, the U.S. ethanol industry and the U.S. government have worked with APEC to develop the roadmap to reach these goals through increasing the production, use and trade of ethanol as a transport fuel in the region.

“The roadmap is a critical component for any country looking to develop its own ethanol policy to reduce carbon emissions, improve human health and provide economic benefits throughout the value chain,” said Brian Healy, USGC manager of ethanol export market development.

“It highlights not only what countries should do, but also what they should avoid as they create these policies using experiences and best practices from other APEC member economies.”

This roadmap provides an outlook to member economies as governments explore establishing viable domestic ethanol policies and industries, including policy tools and compliance standards that stimulate demand. It also addresses the environmental and economic benefits of ethanol and how member economies can incentivize greater production, consumption and trade of ethanol.

The APEC Energy Working Group’s lead shepard presented the roadmap at the Ethanol Summit of the Americas in October 2017, which included representatives from 15 countries in Western Hemisphere interested in ethanol policies. While several of these countries are not APEC members, their governments recognize the tested methodologies as outlined in the roadmap for developing an ethanol approach.

The Council also uses the APEC Energy Working Group’s case studies to help world economies develop ethanol policies with a role for trade. The case studies detail five member economy experiences in building their own ethanol sectors, focusing on obstacles and challenges along the supply chain, from feedstock and infrastructure to policy frameworks that foster the creation of efficient domestic ethanol industries.

To support efforts like the development and distribution of these publications, the Council works with the APEC Energy Working Group’s Expert Group in New and Renewable Technologies, which met recently in Hawaii. The Council attends as a representative from the United States, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service and U.S. Department of Energy.

“The Council is working to build alliances and partnerships with multilateral groups like APEC,” said Healy, who attended the meeting to update and engage the expert group on current and upcoming USGC and APEC activities. “Doing so fosters collaboration, affords the opportunity to share our own experience and supports more robust ethanol trade throughout the region—three major tenets of APEC as an organization.”

Learn more about the Council work promoting ethanol here.