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Montna added that the study is so important, and was so well done, the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Jason Weller, asked to be a part of the study's unveiling at a press conference at USDA headquarters earlier this year. "Our partnership with Ducks Unlimited is vitally important as all segments of our industry work together to ensure working rice lands remain working rice lands," said Ward.

Contact: Michael Klein, (703) 236-1458 International Trade Commission Tells RMA Convention: 'Five-Year Rice Study is Underway' Bonarriva and Ward

USA Rice's Ward (r) shares a light moment with USITC's Bonarriva LAKE TAHOE, NV - Earlier this week, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) announced that it has started a major assessment of competitive factors impacting the U.S. rice industry. This morning, ITC Lead International Trade Analyst Joanna Bonarriva gave attendees at the USA Rice Millers' Association (RMA) Convention an overview of the assessment process, including a timeline of events. Bonarriva explained that the USITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial agency that provides the President and Congress with research and analysis on international trade but does not make policy or negotiate trade agreements. She said USITC assessments follow a strict procedure starting with a review of relevant literature, followed by a public hearing in Washington, DC, and then, depending on the data collected, use of economic modeling or other statistical methods. The USITC also does outreach, visiting domestic and international industries, and conducting interviews with both U.S. and foreign government sources as well as industry representatives, including individual firms, trade associations, marketers, exporters, and importers. For the rice industry assessment, Bonarriva said USITC plans to visit production facilities in Arkansas, attend the Outlook Conference in December, and travel to India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia to complete the international fieldwork.

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