Abraham: Iraq to purchase 90,000 tons of US rice
WASHINGTON - America’s rice farmers can celebrate today after Iraq agreed to purchase a whopping 90,000 metric tons – or 200 million pounds – of rice from the United States, thanks in part to lobbying from Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, and other members of Congress.
Dr. Abraham led a letter in September to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman urging his team to work with Iraq to buy American rice to satisfy a recent rice tender. Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Congressmen Clay Higgins, R-La., and Rick Crawford, R-Ark., joined Dr. Abraham on the letter.
“Iraq is buying three times more rice than we requested in our letter, so I’m thrilled that this resulted in such a successful sale. A purchase of this great amount will have an immediate and strong impact on the American rice market, and this is certainly a testament to American rice producers, who grow the best rice in the world,” said Dr. Abraham, a member of the House Agriculture Committee.
Louisiana is a top state for rice production. Louisiana producers harvested 2.7 billion pounds of rice worth $372.7 million in 2017, according to the LSU AgCenter.
Dr. Abraham has led several letters to Iraq over the last few years advocating for US rice. The most recent success was in August when Iraq purchased 15,000 metric tons from the United States.