Boozman Applauds First U.S. Rice Sales to Iraq in Two Years

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, released the following statement applauding the first U.S. rice sales to Iraq in two years:

“These purchases are great news for our rice producers. I appreciate Ambassador Tueller’s efforts that led to this breakthrough, as these sales are a win-win for both the Iraqi people and our American rice farmers.”

Potential changes in Iraq’s rice tendering system raised concerns that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which had been in place for five years and led to sales of more than 350,000 metric tons ($180 million) of U.S. rice, could be nullified.

Last month, Ranking Member Boozman and six other senators from rice producing states wrote to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller to urge him to personally intervene on behalf of U.S. rice producers. This led to the signing of a new MOU with Iraq to purchase 200,000 tons of U.S. rice annually.

USA Rice today announced ADM’s sale of 80,000 tons of U.S. rice to Iraq. An additional 40,000 tons was sold by Supreme Rice. Both sales are pending credit approval. They are the first U.S. rice sales to Iraq in two years, and should arrive at the Umm Qasr port in October and November.