After efforts to normalize trade relations between the United States and Cuba were stalled by President Donald Trump, writes Daniel Breen on UALRPublicradio.org. members of Arkansas’s Congressional Delegation have set their sights on a new trade partner: China.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson is beginning a two-day agriculture tour of farms in the rice-producing regions of east and northeast Arkansas. A statement from the governor’s office says he plans to discuss critical issues for the agriculture community, including flooding this year, row crop farming, and the possibility of rice sales to China.
Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, says the untapped Chinese market has the potential to enhance the role that the over $6 billion rice industry plays in Arkansas’s economy.
“We’ve got a tremendous opportunity in front of us. I think China consumes about 80 percent of the world’s rice, and Arkansas being the leading rice producing state in the U.S., we now have a new market that we have not been in in decades,” Preston said in an interview with Jonesboro NPR member station KASU.