WASHINGTON, DC – USA Rice Chair Kirk Satterfield, a Mississippi rice farmer, joined leaders from other commodity and livestock organizations here this week to discuss a number of topics impacting the agriculture industry, but primarily focused on the upcoming Farm Bill.
The group also discussed opportunities where they could work together to advance the U.S. agriculture agenda as well as the biggest threats facing each agriculture sector represented.
“The commodity title of the Farm Bill, specifically the Price Loss Coverage program, is really our true safety net, and is critically important because it levels the playing field for rice that is highly subsidized by our global competitors,” Satterfield told the group. “U.S. farm families cannot compete in such a distorted world market without U.S. farm policy. The reference price no longer provides the level of assistance needed for an effective safety net for rice producers, and we need an increase to the rice reference price.”
Satterfield explained, “Rice is one of the world’s most government-manipulated commodities, and a major challenge for U.S. rice exporters is competitiveness. Trade-distorting countries like the top three rice exporters – India, Thailand, and Vietnam – all exceed their subsidy limits or use illegal export subsidies to make their rice more competitive. USA Rice needs the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to take a case against India to the World Trade Organization (WTO) given they’re the most egregious bad actors.”
The group plans to reconvene on an as-needed basis as topics arise.