Crawford, Boozman Urge Kerry to Protect American Rice Farmers

In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1) and U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today urged protecting American rice producers against unfair business practices in Iraq.

In early November, the Iraqi Grain Board (IGB) paid $1.4 million more to buy rice from Brazil and Uruguay rather than accept the competitive, lower bid by U.S. rice.

“Given the considerable investment of resources by the American taxpayer in Iraq, it is critical that the United States be on ‘equal footing’ with its foreign competitors when it comes to the ability to win bids issued by the IGB. Simply deciding to pick winners and losers in bids for Iraqi rice tenders based on arbitrary reasons is not only unfair, it deprives rice farmers in Arkansas — a leader in rice production — and across America of a vital trading partnership with Iraq,” the members wrote.

A tender to buy 30,000 metric tons of rice closed on Sunday, November 16th. Winning bids are expected to be announced later this week.

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.

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