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US files WTO case against Turkey over rice sales restrictions
The USA Rice Federation praised U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman’s announcement today that the United States is filing a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against Turkey because of unfair restrictions on U.S. rice imports.

“We commend Ambassador Portman for taking this step,” U.S. Rice Federation Chairman Lee Adams said. “We also appreciate the administration’s commitment to enforcing existing trade agreements. Enforcement is a critical part of preserving support for trade among rice producers and exporters.” Adams is in Ottawa this week for a meeting of the USA Rice Federation’s International Promotion Committee.

Turkey’s restrictions appear to be inconsistent with several of its WTO obligations, Portman said. For example, Turkey requires a license in order to import rice and Turkey permits the importation of a limited amount of rice at reduced duty rates only if importers also purchase significant quantities of domestic rice – in some cases, more than three times the quantity to be imported.

During the Turkish rice harvest, when the domestic purchase requirement is not in effect, Turkey does not permit any imports of rice. Consequently, Turkish imports of U.S. rice of all types have declined by two-thirds since 2003, with imports of U.S. milled and semi-milled rice down 91 percent.

“Turkey is the largest commercial importer of medium grain rice, and we want to be able to compete there,” said Chris Crutchfield, chairman of the Asia/Turkey International Promotions Subcommittee, also in Ottawa this week. “We are working closely with USDA in Turkey and Washington to promote U.S. rice, and today’s action is critical to enhancing market access in Turkey.”

Turkey’s domestic rice market of 70 million consumers is forecast to be worth nearly $200 million in 2006.
MGR Archive 3.11.2005
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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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