WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — USA Rice Federation hosted a joint rice industry seminar on May 25 with representatives of Induarroz, Colombia's rice millers' association, and the U.S. Rice Producers Association, to review the operation of export trading companies (ETC).

The U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA) provides for the use of an ETC to administer a tariff rate quota (TRQ) for 79,000 tonnes of U.S. rice (milled rice equivalent basis). In managing the operation of the TRQ, an ETC will capture a portion of the "quota rent" or the value difference between shipping U.S.-grown rice to Colombia duty free versus Colombia's internal rice price, which is protected by an 80% duty.

The FTA provides that the net revenue generated by the ETC management of the TRQ will be divided 50-50 between the U.S. and Colombian industries.

USA Rice has extended an invitation to Fedearroz, Colombia's rice producers' association, to participate in a similar education program.