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P.M. BRIEFING : Taiwan Keeps Rice Market Closed

<i> From Times wire services </i>

The Council of Agriculture said today it will not give in to pressure from the U.S. rice lobby to open up its market and renew an agreement to limit its rice exports.

“We will not bow to their demand because it will disrupt our rice production and hurt our farmers,” Keh Ching-chao, a spokesman for the Taiwan government agency, said.

Council Chairman Yu I-hsien told Parliament last week that the U.S. Rice Millers Assn. had failed to open the Japanese market and had turned its attention to Taiwan.

Keh said the association was trying to use its political clout to gain access to the Taiwan market and force Taipei to renew the rice contracts.

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