Brownfield Ag News

Senators Push For Increase Rice Trade With Iraq

By Meghan Grebner

Senators from rice producing states are urging American and Iraqi officials to take steps to increase US rice exports to Iraq. 

The group says both the Iraqi people and American farmers would benefit from the action. The majority of Iraq’s population consumes rice daily and nearly 90 percent of its supply is imported. American rice farmers finished harvesting the largest American rice crop in a decade.

In separate letters to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Dr. Fareed Yasseen, Iraq’s Ambassador to the US, the group urged the US-specific rice tender established under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be issued and implementation. The US has shipped 390,000 metric tons to Iraq since the first MOU was signed in 2016. 

The letters were signed by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).