Yesterday, USA Rice joined representatives here from U.S. Wheat Associates, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service to meet with a contingent from Iraq’s Ministry of Trade.
The Iraqi officials were part of a larger delegation visiting Washington for meetings with the U.S. government, including a meeting between Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and President Trump. The visit came on the heels of last week’s $450 million Export-Import financing announcement for the Trade Bank of Iraq to facilitate purchases of U.S. goods and services, including rice and wheat.
USA Rice Vice President of International Trade Policy Peter Bachmann participated in the meeting and shared USA Rice’s appreciation of the strong partnership between the government of Iraq and the U.S. rice industry.
“We look forward to working with the Iraq Grain Board in utilizing this new channel to finance the purchase of high quality, U.S. milled rice,” said Bachmann. “The U.S.-Iraq Memorandums of Understanding provide existing frameworks to maximize the use of the recently announced Ex-Im Bank loan.”
Bachmann added: “With shrinking grain supplies in Iraq further exacerbated by the logistical and pricing effects of COVID-19, it is perfect timing for the Iraqi Grain Board to take advantage of the 2020 U.S. rice crop coming off the fields right now.”
The existing U.S.-Iraq Memorandum of Understanding for rice remains in effect through December 2021.