Iraqi Delegation Goes to the Source for Recent US Rice Sales

By Kane Webb, USA Rice

US Rice being loaded at the Port of Lake Charles for shipment to Iraq.

US Rice being loaded at the Port of Lake Charles for shipment to Iraq.

LAKE CHARLES, LA -- Last week, USA Rice hosted a delegation of seven officials from Iraq's Ministry of Trade for a meeting with U.S. rice exporters. The team, led by Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Haitham Al-Khshali, discussed ways to ensure continued trade between the two countries including improved rice quality, technical trainings, and investments into Iraq.

The governments of Iraq and the U.S. signed a rice memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2016 that has led to U.S. specific tenders for rice; 300,000 MT of U.S. rice has been purchased over the past three years.

"We expressed our appreciation for the Ministry recently extending the MOU for another three years, which will further deepen the relationship between our two countries," said Bobby Hanks, who attended the meeting and is chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.

The team visited the Port of Lake Charles, where they were welcomed by Port Director Bill Rase, and toured the Port's facilities to watch rice, which the Ministry purchased several months ago, being loaded onto a vessel destined for Iraq.