China pact would benefit Missouri rice growers
POPLAR BLUFF- Experts say rice growers in Missouri could see a boon if a sanitary protocols agreement with China is reached soon.
For 15 years, efforts have been in place to open China to U.S. rice growers. At issue is the sanitary protocols agreement that has been in limbo since China joined the World Trade Organization in 1999. As a result, U.S. rice has been kept out of Chinese markets.
But B.J. Campbell, past chairman of the U.S. Rice Producers Association, told the Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic that China has gone from being a rice exporter to importing more than 2 million tons of the grain annually. The protocols pact could be in place by November.
Missouri is the nation's fifth-leading rice producer. Arkansas is No. 1.