Marvin Lehrer, USA Rice Federation advisor and trade servicing contractor in Mexico, met this week with U.S. officials to seek a resolution to Mexico’s restrictions on some imports of U.S. rough rice resulting from concerns over rice smut.

Lehrer met with a special team from USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prior to its meeting with officials from Mexico’s Agricultural Ministry.

Lehrer emphasized the great importance of the Mexican market to the U.S. rice industry. He also provided background information to the APHIS team on the Mexican rice industry and commercial rice flows.

Additionally, Lehrer discussed the issue with several affected miller/importers and exchanged information with leadership of the Mexican Rice Council at its Mexico City headquarters.

The rice trade in Mexico, including Mexican Rice Council, is unified in its desire to resolve this issue in the shortest time possible because U.S. rice is essential to meeting Mexico’s domestic demand. Local trade representatives assured Lehrer that the Mexican government has been fully briefed by Mexico’s industry about the commercial importance of this trade to industries on both sides of the border.