U.S. seeks WTO panel on Turkey’s rice import restrictions
The Bush administration has asked the World Trade Organization to establish a dispute settlement panel in a case against Turkey’s restrictions on imports of U.S. rice.
“This case is about giving U.S. farmers fair access to Turkey’s market,” said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman in a statement. “American rice farmers are being denied access to Turkey’s rice market because of Turkey’s unfair import restrictions.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Turkey’s domestic rice market will be worth more than $200 million in 2006.
U.S. rice exporters face market access restrictions resulting from Turkey’s import licensing system for rice. Under this system, the importation of rice into Turkey is allowed at preferential tariff levels provided that importers also buy significant quantities of domestic rice from the Turkish Grain Board or Turkish producers or producer associations.
The United States requested consultations with Turkey on this matter on Nov. 2, but those consultations have not resolved the dispute.