"We are deeply troubled by the European Commission's recent public statement that it will seek to restrict access by the United States and other nations to European markets for grain and rice.
"The European commitments on market access for imports of wheat, feed grains and rice are among the most important obligations the EU undertook in agriculture during the Uruguay Round. The United States and other countries negotiated their commitments based on the understanding the EU would uphold its market access obligations.
"U.S. exporters have benefited significantly from the enhanced market access - the United States exports of grain and rice to Europe grew to roughly $300 million in 2001.
"We understand that the European Council has not yet made a decision on this matter. We are strongly opposed to the Commission proposal, which we view as being potentially detrimental to U.S. trade interests and trade liberalization in agriculture. We have communicated our concerns to the Europeans and our willingness to work with them to resolve this issue."