Members of Arkansas' congressional delegation have joined colleagues from other states in urging Secretary of State John Kerry to encourage Iraq to purchase more American-produced rice.
Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Arkansas Reps. Rick Crawford and Bruce Westerman have signed a letter that seeks diplomatic assistance to improve trade relations with the Iraqi Grain Board. In recent years, the board has bought rice from other nations over lower cost American rice.
The letter asserts that the Iraqi Grain Board has not indicated that American rice is deficient in quality, grade or price.
Arkansas leads the nation in rice production, and rice is the top agricultural export for the state. Nationwide, rice production generates approximately $34 billion in economic activity annually, creating thousands of jobs in rural America.