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Chairman Smith Calls for Investigation into the Global Competitiveness of U.S. Rice Producers

February 05, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lawmakers are in need of an updated review and analysis of the global rice market to implement policies that will best ensure U.S. producers are able to compete on a level playing field, wrote Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) in a letter to U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) Chairman David Johanson. Chairman Smith called on the USITC to conduct an investigation and produce a report pursuant to Section 332 of the Tariff Act of 1930. This request follows a previous report produced by the agency in 2015.

Upon sending the letter to the USITC, Chairman Smith issued the following statement:

“Given the significant changes that have occurred in the global rice market since 2015, policymakers would benefit from fresh analysis to determine the extent to which American rice producers face unfair competition around the world. This review must include an objective investigation into the subsidies that other producing and exporting countries provide to their domestic rice producers in order to better understand how those subsidies distort markets and harm export opportunities for U.S. rice producers. I strongly suspect that unfair subsidies and other policies in foreign countries have contributed to a decrease in U.S. rice exports over the last decade, from $2.2 billion in 2013 to $1.7 billion in 2022. Given a level playing field, American rice producers will win more customers around the world and support more American jobs. This request is just the latest step in the Ways and Means Committee’s ongoing effort to ensure our nation’s trade policies benefit American families, farmers, workers, and small businesses.”

Smith’s letter details several areas the USITC should focus on in its analysis, including:

  • Recent developments in the U.S. rice industry as well as those of other major global rice producers and exporters like Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Paraguay, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam.
  • Trade trends and developments in the global rice market that impact both U.S. and foreign imports and exports.
  • Competitive strengths and weaknesses of U.S. and foreign rice producers, with a focus on how those factors affect costs, product differentiation, and supply chain reliability.
  • A qualitative and quantitative assessment of what existing policies and programs are directly or indirectly affecting rice production and exports – including how such policies like export restrictions affect U.S rice production and prices as well as food security in developing countries.
  • The impact on America’s rice industry from exports by other major rice producing countries to both the U.S. as well as traditional U.S. export markets.

Click here to read the letter to USITC Chaiman Johanson.

The letter to the USITC comes in advance of a Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee hearing to be held on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 focused on “Advancing America’s Interests at the World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Meeting.”