USA Rice Millers' Association

Representing the U.S. Rice Milling Industry Since 1899

Founded in 1899, the USA Rice Millers' Association (RMA) is one of the oldest agribusiness trade organizations in America.  RMA membership encompasses virtually all of U.S. rice milling capacity, including farmer-owned cooperatives and privately owned mills, with mill members in Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.  Associate members located in the U.S. and around the world,  include end users, exporters, shippers, and other businesses allied with the rice trade.

RMA membership supports government affairs work as well as international market access and trade policy work.
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There are currently 29 mill members and 35 associate members including traders, exporters, brokers, end users, and allied businesses. 

Board of Directors

•  Each mill member names one director to the board.  
•  The RMA holds its annual convention in June.  RMA Board meetings are held in conjunction with USA Rice Federation annual meetings.

Meet the Chairman

Balafoutis, Alex

Alex Balafoutis

Alex Balafoutis, vice president of sales for the Rice Business Unit at PGP International, a company specializing in extruded products located in Woodland, California, was elected chairman of the USA Rice Millers’ Association at their annual meeting last June.  Alex has been involved with the rice industry for more than thirty years and during that time has served on numerous USA Rice committees and boards including the International Promotion Committee, the Sustainability Committee, the Trade Policy Committee, and the Japan and Taiwan technical working groups among others. 

Recent News

TPP Moves On Without the U.S.; Rice Negatively Impacted

Feb 02, 2018
In lieu of a better deal
 Cartoon image of Trump carrying US flag while other hands sign a trade deal
TOKYO, JAPAN – Eleven countries will sign a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Chile next month, after successful negotiations concluded here last week.  The new deal, known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP or TPP-11), will not include the United States.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the original TPP deal in one of his first acts as President.  

Pulling out of TPP was opposed by most of U.S. agriculture, however USA Rice ultimately took no position due to the deficient market access package for rice.

But in or out of the deal, the U.S. rice industry concerns remain.  

As part of CP-TPP, Mexico will eliminate the current 20 percent tariff on rice imports from Viet Nam, a move that could negatively affect U.S. market share in the number one U.S. market.  Although Mexican consumers largely prefer U.S.-grown rice for its quality and cooking characteristics, and importers appreciate the U.S.’s reliability and logistical advantages, U.S. rice is vulnerable to cheap competition from Asia.  The elimination of the tariff will be a gradual transition, though the exact schedule has not yet been announced.  Mexico recently renewed a 150,000 metric ton TRQ for rice that could benefit Vietnamese rice immediately. (see USA Rice Daily, January 16, 2018).

A stumbling block for the U.S. rice industry on the original TPP concerned quality and quantity of access to the Japanese market and the threat of Vietnamese imports into Mexico at zero tariff.  The Trump Administration is pursuing a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and President Trump recently expressed a willingness to rejoin “a substantially better” TPP.

“USA Rice supports the Administration’s discussions with Japan and will press for an improvement of rice market access under any enhanced TPP agreement,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  

The 11 member countries - Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and Viet Nam - will sign the new CP-TPP March 8, 2018, at a ceremony in Chile.