Central American and Dominican Rice Buyers Attend USA Rice Outlook

Men in business attire stand in a group talking
USA Rice Chair Charley Mathews, Jr., speaks the language
Dec 12, 2019
LITTLE ROCK, AR – A delegation of USA Rice members and representatives from the Central American Rice Federation (FECARROZ) met here ahead of the USA Rice Outlook Conference to talk about the Central America-Dominican Republic-U.S. free trade agreement (CAFTA-DR).

CAFTA-DR is on the verge of entering the agreement’s fifteenth year since enactment and has been largely beneficial for both the U.S. domestic industry and the Central American and Dominican processors.

The delegations spent several hours discussing the trade agreement, providing updates on USA Rice international promotion efforts within the region and U.S. efforts to improve U.S. rice quality.  

Additionally, a report was given on the Agriculture Review Commission, established last month as a requirement for the fourteenth year of the free trade agreement.  Membership of the Commission is made up of government representatives from all seven CAFTA-DR countries tasked with conducting a review of the operation and implementation of the free trade agreement as it relates to trade in all agricultural goods, including rice.

“Central America is a top destination for U.S. rice and helps keep our export market thriving,” said USA Rice Chairman Charley Mathews, Jr.  “We are pleased that FECARROZ has given thought to how this trade can be sustained and continues to nurture the relationship with our U.S. exporters through these periodic meetings.”

FECARROZ is interested in pursuing additional research that looks toward the future of the trading relationship between the U.S. and their countries to help provide insight for future discussions.

“USA Rice is supportive of reviewing potential research on the future of our trading relationship," said Todd Burich, chair of the USA Rice Latin American Trade Policy Subcommittee.  "We will take a closer look at their proposal next month during the USA Rice International Promotion Planning Conference, and be in continued conversations with FECARROZ during this process."