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

Trade News Comes In Threes

Mar 02, 2018
Balancing act
 Elephant-balancing on small beach ball
WASHINGTON, DC -- Congress and the Trump Administration made headline news in the trade world this week to mixed reaction.

Yesterday the Senate confirmed Gregg Doud as Chief Agricultural Negotiator within the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).  "Mr. Doud's confirmation was long overdue," said Bobby Hanks of Supreme Rice Mill in Louisiana and chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.  "We look forward to working closely with Ambassador Doud on our trade issues as he brings his policy leadership to USTR's agriculture office."

President Trump announced yesterday that he would impose import duties on steel and aluminum under a rarely used provision of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 that permits the president to restrict imports on national security grounds.  The president reportedly said the higher duties would take effect "next week."

This action is highly controversial, with the steel and aluminum industries saying protection is vital to counter unfair global competition which has spurred global over capacity and low prices.  Many others, including export dependent industries like agriculture, are fearful of retaliation by countries affected by higher import duties.  The EU and China, for example, have criticized the action and spoken of responding in kind.

On Monday, USTR released the agency's 2018 Trade Policy Agenda and 2017 Annual Report.  The 300-plus page document lays out the President's trade policy agenda.  Citing a "New era in trade policy," the report details the administration's trade priorities, including "...establishing year-round markets for U.S. rice to Colombia, Nicaragua, and China."

"USTR's focus on an assertive trade policy and strong enforcement of trade deals have long been supported and pushed by USA Rice," continued Hanks.  "We're equally aware that trade and trade agreements -like NAFTA and our free trade agreement with Colombia - provide tremendous benefits to our members.  We have to be smart in our actions to protect existing benefits while we pursue new access and justified claims against other countries.  We will continue to deliver this message to our negotiators."