Trade at Top of Agenda for Arkansas Rice Leadership

Two men wearing sport coats sit at table with gavel shaking hands, portrait photo gallery in background
Riceland Foods Chair Roger Pohlner (left) and Gregg Doud
Apr 29, 2019
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Leadership of Arkansas’ rice industry engaged in a wide-ranging discussion with the Trump Administration’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator here last week.  Ambassador Gregg Doud spoke before Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Farm Policy Summit and then met with leadership from the state's rice producers, millers, and Arkansas Rice Federation for a round-table back and forth about the trade issues affecting the rice industry in the mid-South.

“Ambassador Doud knows our industry’s issues, whether it’s the critical importance of maintaining markets in Mexico and Central America, gaining access in China, or pressing for consistent sales to Iraq,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  “He’s a strong supporter of U.S. rice within the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and a tireless advocate for free and fair trade.”

The Arkansas industry noted the declining share of U.S. rice in global rice trade and the increase in exports from countries like India and China where growth is very likely the result of domestic production subsidies.  Earlier this year the United States won a case in the World Trade Organization (WTO) against China’s subsidies for wheat and rice production.  China has accepted this decision and the focus is now on China bringing its support programs into compliance with its WTO obligations.