3rd Americas Sugar Trade & Ethanol Summit, part of the successful Americas Sugar Trade series, will focus on the impact of NAFTA (10 months on) on the sugar and ethanol markets in the US, Mexico and the region, as we know how important a role NAFTA is going to play in shaping the marketplace.

With Energy rapidly becoming a highly politicized issue, the opportunities for the business community to work towards cutting down on the region’s dependence on Oil imports will mean further growth of the multi-billion dollar “Green” industry!

Wall Street Journal recently ran an insightful editorial reflecting this view.

Jointly written by Robert McFarlane & George Philippidis, the article, entitled “HOW FREE TRADE CAN SOLVE THE ENERGY CRISIS” looks at strategies the US and the region should adopt with regards to a more cohesive energy security strategy.

In their editorial, Mr. McFarlane and Mr. Philippidis discuss how North American FREE Trade can solve the Energy Crisis in the region in their insightful editorial covering US energy consumption patterns and the urgent need to step up biofuel imports, get rid of the tariff on Brazilian ethanol imports, scale up Cellulosic Ethanol production and all in all, cut down on dependence on corn ethanol. They sum up their editorial with the following insightful conclusion,

The U.S. should immediately pursue a multifaceted biofuels strategy. First, while the corn industry improves productivity and sustainability, the U.S. should treat the commercialization of cellulosic technologies as a matter of national security — a new Manhattan Project deserving all the necessary resources to accelerate deployment.

Second, the U.S. should pursue closer energy integration with Latin America though regulatory convergence and open biofuels trade, thus encouraging private investment in sugarcane ethanol production. This is the fastest and most efficient means to boost ethanol availability within three to four years, and displace gasoline use to an extent significant enough to cause oil demand and prices to drop.

Third, consumers should be educated and financially incentivized to switch to flexible-fuel vehicles, creating demand for mass production of such vehicles, which will dramatically cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Energy security cannot be achieved with a silver bullet. It is not a competition between corn ethanol and sugarcane ethanol or between biofuels and plug-in hybrids. The sooner we realize that U.S. energy security needs all of the above, the sooner our country will be able to commit to a coherent long-term energy policy. U.S. and Latin American biofuels are the kick-start needed to break oil’s unbearable monopoly in transportation fuels.

Mr. McFarlene & Mr. Philippidis raised some critical points that will be addressed at the 3rd Americas Sugar Trade & Ethanol Summit, including the need to diversify US Ethanol to encompass other feedstocks including Cellulose and Sweet Sorghum, as well as building closer integration with the booming biofuels industries in South America & the Caribbean.

Mr. Philippidis is energy director at Florida International University in Miami. Mr. Philippidis will in fact be sharing a paper at 3rd Americas Sugar Trade & Ethanol Summit on the prospects of large-scale Cellulosic Ethanol production in the US.

Mr. McFarlane served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor (1983-85).

You can read their article at here.

In the mean time, don’t forget to confirm your seat at 3rd Americas Sugar Trade & Ethanol Summit. Drop me an e-mail at divya@cmtsp.com.sg and I’ll follow up with you directly.

I look forward to hearing from all of you and meeting you in Miami this October.

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