USA Rice works with key players in Washington to protect the livelihood of all sectors of the U.S.-rice industry. We are dedicated to working closely with government to ensure that legislative and regulatory issues affecting our members are fair and reasonable.

Farm Bill Implementation

The Farm Bill is the most important piece of legislation for farm policy and is authorized in five-year intervals. The 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law on February 7, 2014 and its programs are in the process of being implemented through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

The farm bill is home to almost all of the agriculture industry’s safety net programs, such as crop insurance, revenue protection, and incentive-based conservation programs. Direct payments to growers were eliminated in the 2014 Farm Bill and replaced with the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The programs authorized in the farm bill directly affect all rice producers’ bottom lines. 

USA Rice actively advocated for the most producer-friendly options throughout the farm bill development process. We continue to provide input to USDA during the implementation phase on any relevant rules available for comment. The weekly USA Rice Capital Update publication provides the latest information on farm bill programs and advocacy efforts by the rice industry.

Related Links:
USDA FSA’s ARC/PLC Informational Page

USDA’s Farm Bill Update Page
USA Rice Interactive PLC Payment Calculator

Trade Promotion Authority 

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is the vehicle that provides the president fast-track trade negotiation flexibility.  Under TPA, the president is authorized to negotiate trade deals with Congress offering priorities, but ultimately only being allowed an up-or-down vote.  No amendments or riders that could derail the agreement are allowed. 

TPA signals other countries that the United States is serious about the trade agreements and absent the threat of endless amendments from Congress, it encourages other countries to put forward their best, good faith positions to conclude negotiations.  Without TPA, it is unlikely major trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership could be completed.  The U.S. rice industry will benefit from sound trade deals, but TPA is needed.

USA Rice supports the passage of TPA legislation by Congress with the hope of increased rice exports as a result of timely trade negotiations. 

Related Links:
TPA Legislation in Congress
Archived hearings before Congress

Country of Origin Labeling

The World Trade Organization (WTO) deemed Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations for certain muscle cuts of meat to be in violation of international trade rules and causing economic harm to Canada and Mexico. Canada and Mexico are authorized to impose retaliatory tariffs on United States products imported into their countries. 

Rice topped the list of goods Canada and Mexico targeted for tariff increases. As Mexico and Canada are both in the top five countries the United States exports rice, it is imperative that we work to eliminate the possibility that a tariff will be imposed. 

USA Rice supports legislation that repeals the COOL regulations and we seek any additional efforts to avoid retaliatory tariffs on goods imported from the United States to Mexico and Canada. 

Related Links:
Legislation calling for repeal of COOL regulations
USA Rice-signed letters supporting the repeal of COOL