The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced that he is launching a World Trade Organisation (WTO) disputes case against Turkey, citing alleged unfair restrictions on American rice exports.

Washington has been particularly upset by Ankara’s reinstatement of a domestic purchase requirement, allowing limited imports at reduced duties, but only if an importer also purchases significant quantities of Turkish rice.

The US claimed that in any case, Turkey unfairly restricts rice imports through licensing requirements. It claims Turkey is breaking WTO trade rules. The USTR office alleges the restrictions have depressed Turkey’s imports of US rice by two-thirds since 2003, with milled and semi-milled rice imports falling 91%.