U.S. and Taiwan Hold 7th Annual Technical Meeting

Map of Taiwan showing major cities
At the junction of the East and South China Seas
Nov 03, 2022
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.  Taiwan remained one of the world’s last countries to reopen their borders that were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to what both delegations deemed as their final virtual meeting.

Alex Balafoutis, executive vice president at Western Foods Co., LLC, and chair of the U.S. delegation, said, “The U.S. and Taiwan have a strong partnership that extends far beyond just the rice industries, and it is more important now than ever before.  Despite significant declines in 2022 U.S. rice acreage, there are still improvements that can be made to the export process with Taiwan.”

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 discussions around the U.S. crop insurance products, production surveys, and the Rice Leadership Program.

Both sides agreed to meet in-person in the U.S. in 2023 to resume the pre-pandemic schedule.

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 58,236 MT of rice to Taiwan in 2021, valued at approximately $37 million.