Sep 29, 2021
ARLINGTON, VA – Yesterday, representatives of the U.S. and Taiwan rice industries and the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) of Taiwan met virtually for the group’s annual technical discussions.
“With international travel beginning to slowly open back up, we are hopeful that this sixth annual meeting will be the last we hold virtually,” said Alex Balafoutis, executive vice president at Western Foods Co., LLC, and chair of the U.S. delegation. “The U.S. and Taiwan have a strong partnership both amongst our industries and our governments, and these joint industry-government meetings are an effective way to work through our issues regarding inspection, grading, and tendering to improve market efficiencies.”
Topics for the meeting included an exchange of information on this year’s rice production and utilization in both countries; a review of Taiwan’s rice export promotion program; discussion of Taiwan’s maximum residue limits for crop protectants used on U.S. rice, and an overview of the U.S. crop insurance products available for rice.
Both sides agreed to meet again in 2022 in Taiwan, as the U.S. served as this year’s host.
Taiwan began importing rice from the United States when they established a U.S. country-specific quota in 2007 after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002. Taiwan currently has a country-specific import quota for U.S. rice of 64,634 MT, within an overall annual import quota from all WTO members of 144,720 MT. Taiwan consumes medium grain rice, and purchases U.S.-grown rice from both the mid-south and California.
The U.S. exported 62,029 MT of rice to Taiwan in 2020, valued at approximately $35 million.