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USA Rice Supports U.S. Action in WTO to Protect Access in EU
The USA Rice Federation applauded today’s notification by the U.S. government to the World Trade Organization that the United States intends to withdraw trade concessions in light of the European Union’s failure to reach agreement on access for U.S. brown rice. “Our trade negotiators from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have gone the extra mile in trying to negotiate compensation for U.S. rice exporters after the European Union (EU) unilaterally withdrew the margin of preference (MOP) concession last year,” said Carl Brothers, chairman of the USA Rice Federation’s International Trade Policy Committee and senior VP, Riceland Foods, Inc. “It’s time for the United States to let the EU know that there is a price to pay if the EU refuses to provide compensation for withdrawing the MOP,” Brothers continued.
“We hope the EU sees today’s announcement as a wake-up call to negotiate acceptable compensation so that U.S. sellers and EU millers can return to the business of rice trade,” said John King, III, chairman of the USA Rice Council and a rice farmer from Helena, AR. “The U.S. rice industry prefers an agreement and trade, but we must do whatever is ultimately necessary to protect our rights in the WTO,” King concluded.
Under WTO rules, any WTO member that withdraws a trade concession must offer compensation to other effected members, and must do so within a six-month period. If acceptable compensation is not negotiated, other WTO members can respond by withdrawing a like-value of trade concessions that would be applicable to all other WTO members.
The MOP concession was officially withdrawn on Sept. 1, 2004, so the six-month window for responding ends on March 1. Since WTO members must notify other members 30 days in advance of taking action, today is the last possible day for U.S. notification.
MGR Archive 29.1.2005
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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