With few exceptions and with varying degrees of comprehensiveness and success, all countries intervene in their rice markets. This intervention can create imbalances in world rice supply and demand, shift world rice trade patterns, and distort world rice prices. Available evidence suggests that the global competitiveness of the U.S. rice industry has been severely weakened by the protectionistic policies of its rice trading partners and competitors. An important part of U.S. strategic response to this problem has been to negotiate trade barrier reductions with other rice producing and consuming countries. Current attention is focused on the ongoing GATT discussions. Devising a succ·essful negotiating strategy requires answers to several crucial questions. What are the major trade distorting policies in world rice markets? What are the implications of those policies for U.S. access to foreign rice markets? What are the key rice issues for consideration in rice trade negotiations? This study addresses these and related questions.