Rice group's legal fees deemed appropriate

MONEY THE USA Rice Federation spent to fight for market access in Mexico was “appropriate,” according to the Arkansas Attorney General's office.

Speaking at an Aug. 6 Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board meeting, Arkansas Assistant Attorney General Arnold Jochums told growers the legal fees spent to push for market access for U.S. rice in Mexico was justified in the context of the board's market development role. Jochums says the state attorney general's office concurs with the board's decision that the expense was appropriate, but has not been asked to render a formal opinion on the matter.

“While this expense to defend access to the rice industry's number one export market was clearly appropriate and within the scope of our market development role, we appreciate the concurrence of the state Attorney General's office,” said Marvin Hare, board chairman and Arkansas rice farmer.

USA Rice has worked extensively with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA on the Mexico anti-dumping case. In June, both agencies announced the U.S. government's intention to seek consultations with Mexico within the World Trade Organization on rice and other agricultural products.

“Encouraging the U.S. government to move forward with the WTO dispute resolution consultation is a major accomplishment for USA Rice this year,” says USA Rice Federation Chairman Gary Sebree of Arkansas.

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