Congress members urge Iraq to buy US rice

Feb 24, 2012, 9:47 PM

Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) – Congress members from the largest rice-growing states are urging Iraq to resume buying U.S. long-grain rice, saying the country’s “unreasonable” quality standards put American farmers at a competitive disadvantage.

The Associated Press received a copy Friday of the letter signed by a bipartisan group of 12 lawmakers and sent to Iraqi Minister of Trade Khair Alla Babaker earlier this week. The letter says there was a 77 percent drop in rice sales to Iraq between 2010 and 2011, even though “not long ago, Iraq represented the largest market for U.S. rice.”

“We liberated their country for one thing,” said Congressman Ted Poe, R-Texas, one of the lawmakers who signed the letter. “We would think they would consider the United States in trade since we spent billions of dollars not only to liberate their country, but to rebuild their infrastructure, from their oil industry on.”

The Iraqi Grain Board has said it decided to buy cheaper basmati rice from India. Iraq hasn’t bought U.S. rice since late 2010.

The Iraqi move comes as U.S. farmers struggle with drought, unusual heat, rising production costs, dropping prices and a shrinking export market. But the farmers are most upset over Iraq’s decision because of the Iraq War.

The 12 legislators from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas and Virginia say the rice industry has worked closely with Iraq to develop a relationship, including conducting meetings and workshops with Iraqi Grain Board officials, and touring with them at U.S. rice fields and mills. The letter says Iraq has stringent requirements on the grain. It also requires the rice to be pre-bagged, even though nearly all foreign markets allow this to be done at the destination.

“These unreasonable quality terms increase risk to shippers, causing them to hedge uncertainty with price premiums, which creates a competitive disadvantage,” the letter says.

___

Plushnick-Masti can be followed on Twitter at
https://twitter.com//RamitMastiAP

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart, seen in this July 5, 2022, photo in state chancery cou...
Associated Press

Mississippi seeks to derail federal suits over mental health

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department overreached in suing Mississippi over its mental health system, the state’s solicitor general has argued to a federal appeals court. A Justice Department attorney countered that there’s ample precedent to show the department has the power to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act. A three-judge panel of […]
9 hours ago
FILE -- Anna Sorokin sits at the defense table during jury deliberations in her trial at New York S...
Associated Press

Judge: Fake heiress can fight deportation on house arrest

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. immigration judge cleared the way Wednesday for fake German heiress Anna Sorokin to be released from detention to home confinement while she fights deportation, if she meets certain conditions. She must post a $10,000 bond, provide a residential address where she’ll stay for the duration of her immigration case […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Adnan Syed, center, the man whose legal saga spawned the hit podcast "Serial," exits the Cum...
Associated Press

Family of victim in ‘Serial’ case asks court to halt case

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The family of the victim in the murder case chronicled in the first season of the “Serial” podcast has asked Maryland’s intermediate appellate court to halt Adnan Syed’s court case pending the family’s appeal of a judge’s overturning of Syed’s murder conviction. Young Lee, the brother of victim Hae Min Lee, […]
9 hours ago
This combination photo shows, from left, Venus Williams at HISTORYTalks in Washington on Sept. 24, ...
Associated Press

Venus Williams, Spike Lee set for Black Entrepreneurs Day

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Venus Williams, Spike Lee, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shaquille O’Neal and Killer Mike are among those set to participate in a celebration of African American business success and opportunity. Black Entrepreneurs Day, founded and organized by “Shark Tank” panelist and FUBU chief executive Daymond John, will be held Oct. 27 at New […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Wisconsin judge blocks absentee ballot spoiling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge is prohibiting voters from canceling their original absentee ballot and casting a new one, siding with a conservative group created by prominent Republicans that said the practice known as ballot spoiling is illegal. The ruling Wednesday from a Waukesha County judge who was a former Republican attorney general […]
9 hours ago
FILE - A home with a "Sold" sign is shown, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Average long-term...
Associated Press

Average long-term US mortgage rates dip to 6.66% this week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates ticked down modestly this week after six straight weeks of gains pushed rates to heights not seen in more than a decade, before a crash in the housing market triggered the Great Recession in 2008. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the key […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Congress members urge Iraq to buy US rice