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***Cuba Rice Neg—HSS

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***Notes
--When going for the politics DA against a team that uses OFAC as its agent, there are very good cards in the Waiver CP file that that agent still links to politics. --The net benefit to the exports CP is any reason that the embargo is good – sustainable ag and the other disads that are included in the broader embargo neg

The US is the 12th rice producing country in the world. It produces 8.3 million metric tons compared to China (202.6), India (155.7), Indonesia (65.7), Bangladesh (50.7), Vietnam (42.3).

Globally, a total of 678 million tons of rice were produced in 2009.

FYI Sullivan, 12 ("Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress", Mark P. is a Latin American Specialist , November
6, Congressional Research Service, www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41617.pdf) While the 111th Congress did not complete action on the FY2011 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations measure, it approved a series of short-term continuing resolutions and then in April 2011 ultimately approved a full-year measure (P.L. 112-10) under conditions provided in enacted FY2010 appropriations measures. This continued the “payment of cash in advance” provision through FY2011. Several additional legislative initiatives introduced in the 111th Congress would have permanently made this change, but no action was completed on these measures. H.R. 4645 (Peterson), reported out of the House Agriculture Committee in June 2010, in addition to addressing travel restrictions, would have permanently changed the definition of “payment of cash in advance” and would have allowed direct transfers between U.S. and Cuban financial institutions for payment for products sold to Cuba under TSRA.

Case

Rice Advantage

1NC – Rice Advantage
1. The US cannot compete with other rice – Latin America markets prefer foreign product Burgess, 13 ("Rice farmers face challenges in global market", July 7, Richard is the bureau chief
theadvocate.com/news/6357825-123/rice-farmers-face-challenges-in)

While farmers cater to changing consumer demands, the rice industry is also working to compete in an ever-changing global marketplace. Linscombe said about 45 percent of U.S. rice is exported, mostly to Mexico and other Latin American countries. But that market could be threatened by large Asian producers and by a concern by Latin American buyers over the quality of U.S. rice, said Michael Creed, with Houston-based rice brokerage Creed Rice Company. “We continue to have complaints from this destination (Latin America) in terms of quality,” Creed told farmers who gathered for the annual field day forum. “… It’s a growing problem, not only in Latin America, and we are starting to see it in other areas as well.” Linscombe said the quality concerns are over such issues as texture and how the rice cooks, characteristics where there has been a trade off in the effort to produce higher rice yields. “U.S. rice used to be the standard for quality. We are no longer there,” he
said.

2. Their 1AC evidence concludes alt causes to insecurity Smith, 98 (“FOOD SECURITY AND POLITICAL STABILITY
IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION” Paul is a Research Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, , 9/11, http://www.apcss.org/Publications/Report_Food_Security_98.html) The third session of the seminar looked toward the future. Presenters were asked to identify potential future challenges to food security in the Asia-Pacific region. Once again, the responses fell into two basic categories: challenges related to the availability of food and challenges related to access to food.

Challenges to Availability of Food Several seminar participants noted that population growth in Asia will continue to be a major challenge to food security. Although growth rates are
slowing down, the region’s population is expected to continue rising well into the 21st Century. For instance, by the year 2010, China’s population is expected to rise to 1.347 billion from 1.200

billion (in 1995); India’s will rise to 1.127 billion from 929 million; and Indonesia’s will rise to 235 million from 193 million.24 Simultaneously, Asia’s population is expected to become increasingly urban. By the year 2000, the world will have 20 cities with a population of 10 million or more and Asia

will be the home of 12 of these cities. For this reason, some international agencies are concerned

that growing urbanization may lead to greater food insecurity, as the millions of people who
flock to cities fail to find jobs or other resources that would enable them to purchase adequate food.25

Another future challenge to food security in the Asia-Pacific region is the ratio of the region’s population to its amount of arable land. As one seminar participant noted, "Asia has a much larger fraction of the world’s population than of its arable land." China has 22
percent of the world’s population but only nine percent of its arable land.26 China’s arable land decreased from .10 hectares per capita in 1980 to .08 hectares per capita in 1994. Arable land in other Asian countries is also disappearing at an alarming pace. In India, for instance, arable land decreased from .25 hectares per capita in 1980 to .19 hectares per capita in 1994; Indonesia had .18 hectares per capita in 1980 compared with .16 hectares in 1994. Other Asian countries that have experienced proportional declines in the amount of arable land within the past 18 years include: North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, and Bangladesh.27 Cropland is also being lost to erosion or other forms of degradation or conversion to nonfarm uses.28 By the year 2030, Asia is expected to have eight or nine times as many people per acre of cropland as North America.29 This limitation is likely to place more pressure on Asian farmers to increase crop yields substantially. Water shortages were also identified as a potential food

security challenge. Water is a key determinant of crop yields. In Asia, there are serious questions about the future availability of water. Many countries in the region are already facing significant water scarcity issues. One study that examined the availability of water from a
global perspective concluded that "water availability will be a serious constraint to achieving the food requirements projected for 2025. The need for irrigation water is likely to be greater than

currently anticipated, and the available supply of it less than anticipated."30 Other studies have suggested that a larger proportion of water supplies in the future will be devoted to domestic and industrial uses—at the expense of agriculture. Thus, "rapid growth in water
demand, coupled with escalating costs of development of new water sources, could be a serious threat to future growth in food production, especially if it requires meeting household and industrial water demand through water savings from irrigated agriculture."31In China, water constraints seriously

threaten food security; more than 70 of China’s grain is produced on irrigated land. But the water
intended for irrigation is increasingly being depleted by three major trends: the diversion of water from rivers and reservoirs to cities, the depletion of underground water supplies in aquifers, and the impact of growing pollution caused by industrialization.32 Another challenge for the Asia-Pacific region in the future is likely to be the climate. Several participants noted that the climate—and particularly

climate stability—is a key determinant of future food security. In recent years, the importance of climate stability has become more apparent in the wake of the devastating effects of the recent El Nino weather phenomenon. Agricultural experts generally agree that food security and climate change are inextricably linked . Consequently, there is great concern about the potential effects of climate change. The most immediate effects of

climate change on food production will involve changes in temperature, precipitation, length

of the growing season, and changes in C02 concentration. Viewing climate change from a
global perspective, one study has suggested that "climate change will not pose a serious threat to global food production by 2020, but longer term implications for world agriculture, and even more so for individual regions, are highly uncertain."33 Most studies regarding the Asia-Pacific region suggest that the impact of climate change on food production will be mixed. Indeed, in some cases production increases can be expected. However, climate change may also result in negative changes, such

as increased or new strains of diseases, pests, and weeds. One international study indicates
that climate change impacts on rice yield, wheat yield, and sorghum yield "suggest that any increase in production associated with CO2 fertilization will be more than offset by reductions in yield from temperature or moisture changes."34 An effective policy response to climate change might include research into heat-resistant and low-water-using crops.35 Ironically, Asia-Pacific countries might contribute to climate change if they seek to increase food production by expanding areas of land under cultivation. One of the most harmful collateral effects of such an initiative may be deforestation. As one writer has observed: "the fact remains that poor people in developing countries will continue to chop down forests and kill wildlife to consume the calories they need to survive and prosper."36 Deforestation has been identified as a contributor to global warming because growing trees sequester carbon from the CO2 in the air, a major greenhouse gas. Increasing quantities of greenhouse gases have been identified as factors in climate change. Throughout Asia, deforestation is a major problem. For example, in Thailand, forest cover has shrunk from 55% to 28% during the period from 1961 to 1988.37 Similarly, in Cambodia roughly half of the forests have been felled within the past twenty years.38 The same trends, unfortunately, can be seen throughout the region. Apart from climate change, other

environmental influences on crop production are uncertain. Currently, many East Asian countries suffer from moderate to serious environmental degradation. Some analysts have suggested that such environmental degradation could negatively influence food production. In China, for instance, some have speculated that widespread air pollution might have a negative impact on crop production. But as Vaclav Smil has observed, "particulates and sulfur dioxide cause relatively little damage to crops. Most of the yield losses are seen in suburban vegetable farms."39 The impact of water pollution on food production and cultivation seems to be more clear and negative, however. A relatively recent survey of more than 900 major rivers in China found that more than 80% were polluted to some degree, and 20% were so badly polluted that their water could not be used for irrigation.40 Water pollution in China has also negatively
affected fish catches and the shrimp aquaculture industry.41 Challenges to Food Access As discussed earlier, availability of adequate food is one matter; access to this food is quite another.

Due to the presence of international markets as a "food provider of last resort," some participants believed that the real challenge to food security lies not in food availability, but rather on access to food. Participants described several challenges to food accessibility, the
most important of which dealt with relative purchasing power and the role of international markets.

Many seminar participants listed poverty as a major threat to food security in the AsiaPacific region. As one participant noted, "when people don’t have incomes, they can’t buy enough food." Undernutrition in many of Asia’s low-income countries has been attributed to
insufficient purchasing power among the poorer segments of the population.42 Many poor countries do not grow enough food to be self-sufficient and given their poverty, they are unable to import food to make up for the deficit. Related to this phenomenon is the observation, made during the seminar, that agriculture is more important as an employer (and hence provider of income) than it is as a supplier of food. Given the strong link between poverty and food insecurity, Asia’s dynamic

economic growth—prior to July 1997—was probably a major factor in mitigating food security problems. In contrast, the economic crisis that has spread throughout the region since July
1997 has resulted in greater poverty and has, in many areas, undermined food security.

3. The only internal link to food security is open markets – but their 1AC evidence concludes that protectionist policies inhibit free trade ERS, 11 (“Price Spikes in Global Rice Markets Benefit US Growers”, 2/18, Economic Research Service of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, http://www.thecropsite.com/articles/762/price-spikes-in-globalrice-markets-benefit-us-growers#sthash.wDIzUbCj.dpuf)
High yields, ample acreage, consistent high quality, and year-round stocks allow the US to be one of the few consistently reliable suppliers of rice in the global

price spikes bring only short-term benefits to US rice producers; the increased sales volumes can be lost once prices fall to more normal levels. Long-term growth in the quantity of US rice exported is hampered by highly protectionist policies on the part of importers. Protectionist Policies Contribute to Thin Rice Markets Protectionist policies, common in Asia, ban or sharply limit imports to protect domestic growers and promote self-sufficiency. Asia’s protectionist policies reflect the importance of rice in consumers’ diets and the lack of a viable substitute in production or consumption. The region accounts for almost 90 per cent of global rice production and consumption. In addition, many of these countries have experienced significant food shortages, such as Indonesia and the Philippines in the mid-1960s, often caused by political crises and adverse weather, making food security an important public goal.
market. US rice exporters are able to rapidly boost shipment levels during periods of tight supplies and high prices. But these

4. No impact food insecurity and it’s inevitable OECD, 11 ("Price Volatility in Food and Agricultural Markets: Policy Responses", Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, Collaborative report undertaken by the FAO, IFAD, IMF, OECD, UNCTAD, WFP, the World Bank, WTO, IFPRI and UN HLTF, June, www.oecd.org/trade/agriculturaltrade/48152638.pdf)

Most agricultural commodity markets are characterized by a high degree of volatility. Three major market fundamentals explain why that is the case. First, agricultural output varies from period to period because of natural shocks such as weather and pests. Second, demand elasticities are relatively small with respect to price and supply elasticities are also low, at least in the short run. In order to get supply and demand back into balance after a supply shock, prices therefore have to vary rather strongly, especially if stocks are low. Third, because production takes considerable time in agriculture, supply cannot respond much to price changes in the short term, though it can do so much more once the production cycle is completed. The resulting lagged supply response to price changes can cause cyclical adjustments (such as the often referenced „hog cycle‟) that add an extra degree of variability to the markets concerned. Business cycle fluctuations in demand for agricultural non-food
commodities (such as cotton) from rapidly growing, industrializing economies may also be contributing to increased volatility.

5. Resource wars are won’t escalate Homer-Dixon, 8 (Thomas,- Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and
Conflict Studies at the University. of Toronto. "Oil, Oil, Toil and Trouble."– The National Interest – January /February, edition)

resource stress always interacts in complex conjunction with a host of other factors--ecological, institutional, economic and political--to cause mass violence. Also, causation is almost always indirect. People, groups and countries rarely fight over natural resources directly; instead,
Rather, we argue that resource stress causes various forms of social dislocation--including widening gaps between rich and poor, increased rent-seeking by elites, weakening of states and deeper ethnic cleavages--that, in turn, make violence more likely. And, finally, this

violence is almost always sub-national; it takes the form of insurgency, rebellion, gangsterism and urban criminality, not overt interstate war. The claim that resource stress is sufficient by itself to cause violence is easily refuted. One simply has to identify cases where resource stress was present but violence didn't occur. Likewise, the claim that resource stress is a necessary cause of violence is easily refuted by finding cases of
violence not preceded by resource stress. At various points in his article, Victor uses exactly these strategies to debunk the link between resources and war.

6. No East Asian war Vannarith, 10 ("Asia Pacific Security Issues: Challenges and Adaptive Mechanism", Chheang is the
executive director of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, www.cicp.org.kh/download/CICP%20Policy%20brief/CICP%20Policy%20brief%20No%203.pdf) It is understandable that China is struggling to break the so-called containment strategy imposed by the US since the post Cold War. Whether this tendency can lead to the greater strategic division is still

unknown. Nevertheless, many observers agree that whatever changes may take place, a multi-

polar world and multilateralism prevail. The reasons or logics supporting multilateralism are
mainly based on the fact that no one country can really address the security issues embedded with international dimension, no one country has the capacity to adapt and adopt to new changes alone, and it needs cooperation and coordination among the nation states and relevant stakeholders including the private sector and civil societies. Large scale interstate war or armed conflict is unthinkable in

the region due to the high level of interdependency and democratization. It is believed that economic interdependency can reduce conflicts and prevent war. Democracy can lead to
more transparency, accountability, and participation that can reduce collective fears and create more confidence and trust among the people in the region. In addition, globalism and regionalism are

taking the center stage of national and foreign policy of many governments in the region except North Korea. The combination of those elements of peace is necessary for peace and stability in the region and those elements are present and being improved in this region. Lets’
take a step back and reflect on the strategic challenges caused by the rising China and falling US. China and US can be regarded as the two main strategic competitors for regional influence but at the same time both countries also improve their bilateral strategic partnership and cooperation. They believe that only through such partnership the region can stay in peace and development. China and US cannot

be separated given the two countries are so much interconnected and interdependent on each others. US is still the main market for Chinese export while China is the main
recipient of US’ Foreign Direct Investment.

2NC – EXT – Alt causes to global rice market
There are alternative causes to the industry --a. Import tariffs Dorosh and Wailes, 10 ("The international rice trade: structure, conduct, and performance", Paul is director of the Development Strategy and Governance Division at the International Food Policy
Research Institute and Eric is Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Arkansas, Chapter 3 of "Rice in the Global Economy: Stategic Research and Policy Issues for Food Security", books.irri.org/9789712202582_content.pdf) Implications of world trade reforms Trade liberalization in rice is also viewed as an additional means by which to achieve price stabilization and improve food security in the world food markets (McCalla and Nash 2007). Despite being a basic staple food for over one-half of the world’s population,

international rice trade encounters some of the most protectionist trade policies. Trade measures are pursued to achieve domestic food security and other “multifunctional” public goods in many countries. Among the most important barriers are import tariffs, which for rice are among the highest of all agricultural commodities. Dimaranan et al (2007) report that the estimated average applied tariff rate was highest for rice among all agricultural and food products at 36.4%; processed dairy products had the second highest average applied tariff rate at 19.4%. Disaggregating by rice type, the global trade-weighted average applied tariffs on medium-grain and long-grain rice in 2000 were estimated by Wailes (2004b) to be 217% and 21%, respectively. Other border measures commonly used to distort rice trade, such as import
quotas and import bans, are described in greater detail in FAO Trade Policy Briefs and Technical Notes (FAO 2005a, b).

b. Alterations in Chinese policy Cui, 13 ("China Rice Imports Unsettle Market", Carolyn is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal,
online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323706704578228052284001608.html) In the global rice market, a big and surprising buyer has emerged: China. For decades, China's booming rice production enabled it to sell far more rice than it bought. But the world's biggest consumer of the grain has become a major importer. Enlarge Image image Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Shoppers in Hefei, China, buying rice. Some analysts say that demand for rice is outpacing supply, a trend that would keep prices high. In 2012, the country bought a record 2.6 million tons of milled rice, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That was a sharp

acceleration of a trend started in 2011, when China bought 575,000 tons. China had been a net importer of rice in just four of the previous 50 years. The move has caused confusion and debate within

the rice industry as analysts and traders try to determine the reason behind the sudden demand and
what it may mean for food prices and the global economy. Some analysts said they believe the buying spree is being driven by soaring demand from Chinese consumers. They say that even though China has bolstered production for nine years in a row, it isn't enough to feed its population. If true, the

purchases may be the beginning of a major, enduring shift in the global rice market. They say this could spark worries about whether there is enough of the staple to go around, keeping prices elevated. "If this year's pace continues, the concern is whether the rest of the world will be able to make up for the shortage of China's rice demand ," said Cheng
Fang, a senior economist at the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO. [image]

Others suggest there is a simpler reason. They say prices for rice set by the Chinese government are much higher than equivalent grades on the global market. That is creating a profitable trade for Chinese buyers who scoop up the rice from places such as
Vietnam, Pakistan and India and then sell it at higher prices at home. The trade has become more profitable in recent months. In mid-December, the average import cost for Vietnamese rice was about $410 a ton, and similar rice could be sold in China for about $635 a ton, traders said. "You've essentially got two split markets," where farmers sell to the government but consumers buy from overseas, said Thomas Pugh, a commodities economist at Capital Economics, a London-based research firm. As a result, a lot of the government-purchased rice has been stockpiled, instead of being processed and consumed, he said. Once the price gap narrows, the imports will fall back. Whichever argument is

correct has big implications for rice prices. If the demand is driven by rising consumption, the shift could propel rice prices higher over the next few years or decades, analysts said. If the purchases are a response to government pricing policies, it could leave global prices vulnerable should those policies reverse.

2NC – EXT – Alt causes to food insecurity
Alt causes to global insecurity – a. China and India Mohanty, 13 ("Game changers in the global rice market", Samarendu is the Associate Director, Cotton
Economics Research Institute, Texas Tech University. And , July 1, irri.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=12614:game-changers-in-the-global-ricemarket&lang=en) On the positive side, the greater participation of China and India in the rice market is likely to increase the volume of trade, thus making the market more stable. Ideally, the global rice market should account for 15−20% of total production compared with 6−8% now. On the other hand, both countries

will bring greater uncertainty to the market as their politicians will continue to fiddle with domestic and trade policies to support farmers and achieve greater domestic price stability, and in the process bring volatility rice facts 3 copy to the international market. India’s export ban in 2007 on nonbasmati rice and its repercussions on the global market is a good example of how these countries can adversely influence the market.
Similarly, Thailand has held the global market hostage through its rice pledging scheme, for which nobody knows how and when the mortgage stocks will rock the market. In addition, the disparity in

the estimates of Chinese supply and use data by two major sources (USDA and FAO) is likely to create problems in the functioning of the market if China remains in the global rice market as a dominant player for the long haul. For example, FAO projects Chinese rice stocks to be more than 50% greater than those of USDA in 2012-13 (94.2 million tons vs 46.2 million
tons). In the past 3 years, the FAO estimates indicate more than a 20-million-ton rise in Chinese stocks compared with only 6 million tons in the case of USDA. The difference in domestic consumption between USDA and FAO estimates for China is more than 10 million tons. All these disparities in

supply and use data did not really matter as long as China was mostly self-sufficient and didn’t trade much. But, accuracy and timely availability of this information will be essential for proper functioning of the market once China becomes a dominant player in the global rice market.

b. Climate OECD, 11 ("Price Volatility in Food and Agricultural Markets: Policy Responses", Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, Collaborative report undertaken by the FAO, IFAD, IMF, OECD,

UNCTAD, WFP, the World Bank, WTO, IFPRI and UN HLTF, June, www.oecd.org/trade/agriculturaltrade/48152638.pdf)

Climatic factors have indisputably contributed to the price rises in 2007/2008 and again in 2010. In 2008, an already tight market situation for wheat was aggravated by drought in Australia,
which is an important supplier of wheat to world markets. Canada, another important supplier, also experienced weather related low yields for several crops. More recently, drought followed by fire in

the Russian Federation, fears about the Australian and Argentinean crops, and several downward revisions of US crop forecasts in late 2010 and early 2011 have brought strong market reactions and soaring prices. It is not clear whether these weather-related events
are transitory in nature, cyclical (El Nino and La Nina) or the harbingers of long term climate change. Experts concur broadly that climate change will, in the longer term, lead to worsening

conditions in some arid and semi-arid regions where agricultural production is already difficult, while temperate regions in particular, but not exclusively, may benefit. It is also thought that climate change will lead to more frequent extreme events such as droughts, heat waves and floods. Clearly, climate change will provoke some adjustment of production patterns around the world, as well as increased risks of local or regional supply problems that could add to future volatility.

c. Biofuels OECD, 11 ("Price Volatility in Food and Agricultural Markets: Policy Responses", Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, Collaborative report undertaken by the FAO, IFAD, IMF, OECD, UNCTAD, WFP, the World Bank, WTO, IFPRI and UN HLTF, June, www.oecd.org/trade/agriculturaltrade/48152638.pdf)

The demand for food and feed crops for the production of biofuels is another significant factor. During the 2007-2009 period biofuels accounted for a significant share of global use of several
crops – 20% for sugar cane, 9% for vegetable oil and coarse grains and 4% for sugar beet. Projections encompass a broad range of possible effects but all suggest that biofuel production will exert

considerable upward pressure on prices in the future. For example, according to one study
international prices for wheat, coarse grains, oilseeds and vegetable oil could be increased by 8%, 13%, 7% and 35% respectively10 . Moreover, as long as governments impose mandates (obligations

to blend fixed proportions of biofuels with fossil fuels, or binding targets for shares of biofuels in energy use), biofuel production will aggravate the price inelasticity of demand that contributes to volatility in agricultural prices.

d. Ethanol OECD, 11 ("Price Volatility in Food and Agricultural Markets: Policy Responses", Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, Collaborative report undertaken by the FAO, IFAD, IMF, OECD, UNCTAD, WFP, the World Bank, WTO, IFPRI and UN HLTF, June, www.oecd.org/trade/agriculturaltrade/48152638.pdf)

Agricultural commodity prices are becoming increasingly correlated with oil prices. Oil prices affect agricultural input prices directly and indirectly (through the price of fuel and
fertiliser, for example). In addition, depending on the relative prices of agricultural crops and oil, biofuel production may become profitable (without government support) in some OECD countries. Financial investment in commodities may also have contributed to an increasing correlation between oil and nonoil commodity prices because of the significant share of such investment that tracks indexes containing a basket of different commodities. High and volatile oil prices (if that is what is expected)

could therefore contribute to higher and more volatile agricultural prices, through higher input costs, higher demand for the commodities used in the production of biofuels (sugar, maize, vegetable oils), through competition for land with commodities that are not used directly for the production of fuel, and possibly through financial investment in commodity baskets.

2NC – EXT – No resource wars
No resource wars – too expensive and market checks Victor, 8 (David G,- Adjunct Senior Fellow for Science and Technology, Council on Foreign Relations;
Director, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development @ Stanford “Smoke and Mirror” http://www.nationalinterest.org/PrinterFriendly.aspx?id=16530) resource wars—hot conflicts driven by a struggle to grab resources—are increasingly rare. Even where resources play a role, they are rarely the root cause of bloodshed. Rather, the root cause usually lies in various failures of governance.
MY ARGUMENT is that classic That argument—in both its classic form and in its more nuanced incarnation—is hardly a straw man, as Thomas Homer-Dixon asserts. Setting aside hyperbole, the punditry increasingly points to resources as a cause of war. And so do social scientists and policy analysts, even with their more nuanced views. I’ve tri ggered this debate because conventional wisdom puts too much emphasis on resources as a cause of conflict. Getting the story right has big implications for social scientists trying to unravel cause-and-effect and often even larger implications for public policy. Michael Klare is right to underscore Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the only cla ssic resource conflict in recent memory. That episode highlights two of the reasons why classic

they’re expensive and rarely work. (And even in Kuwait’s case, many other forces also spurred the invasion. Notably, Iraq felt insecure with its only access to the sea a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Kuwait on one side and its archenemy Iran on the other.) In the end, Saddam lost
resource wars are becoming rare—

resources on the order of $100 billion (plus his country and then his head) in his quest for Kuwait’s 1.5 million

barrels per day of combined oil and gas output. By contrast, Exxon paid $80 billion to get Mobil’s 1.7 million barrels per day of oil and gas production—a merger that has held and
. As the bulging sovereign wealth funds are discovering, it is easier to get resources through the stock exchange than the gun barrel.
flourished

Resources don’t implicate warfare Goldstone, 2K (Jack,- professor of public policy, George Mason, Population and Security: How
Demographic Change Can Lead to Violent Conflict., JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, Fall2002, Vol. 56, p. 123)
For example, Wenche Hauge and Tanja Ellingsen, in the

most comprehensive global test of the environmental-scarcity-leads-toviolence hypothesis with recent data (1980–92), found that while deforestation, land degradation and low freshwater availability were positively correlated with the incidence of civil war and armed conflict, the magnitude of their effects was tiny. By themselves, these factors raised the probability of civil war by 0.5 to under 1.5 percent. These
factors did have a slightly higher impact on the probability of lesser kinds of armed conflict (causing increases in the chances of such conflict by from 4 percent to 8 percent); but their

influence paled compared to the impact of such traditional risk factors as poverty, regime type and current and prior political instability.

2NC – EXT – US rice bad
US rice doesn’t meet international standards Mayer, 11 ("U.S. Long-Grain Rice Industry: At A CRUCIAL CROSSROAdS", Karen Ott,
www.horizonseed.com/docs/Horizon_US-rice_crossroads-english.pdf)

The U.S. long-grain rice industry currently faces an unprecedented challenge, as many segments of the industry, from producers to buyers, acknowledge the quality of U.S. longgrain rice could be headed to a point where the country may no longer be considered the gold standard across the globe. While the industry has recovered from the GMO contamination problems of 2006, it now finds itself faced with perhaps an even larger hurdle as buyers continue to echo a strong sentiment of dissatisfaction. Market share for U.S. long-grain, milled rice has weakened and competition from international players has stiffened,
driving many voices across the industry to ask one question: Why?

US rice can’t compete – dissatisfaction, high costs, and poor preservation Christensen, 13 ("US Rice: Hybrids, Quality and Controversy", Paul is the former Coordinator of the
Seed Technology and Business proram at Iowa State University Seed Science Center January 28, www.intlcorn.com/seedsiteblog/?p=1141) The current quality issue centers on the fact that Mexico and Central America represent 90% of

the U.S. long-grain exports. The conceptions of quality of Central American millers and customers count. The customers want their rice fluffy. Once again the seed industry is involved. Processors and customers in U.S. export markets are criticizing the quality of U.S. produced long-grain rice. The U.S. Rice industry has long had a good reputation for quality, at
least in part because of the introduction of scientific measures of quality in the post WWII U.S. rice production, but foreign buyers of U.S. rice are currently dissatisfied and some are taking

their business to other rice producing nations.The Central American Rice Federation represents the markets of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Its president, Carlos Gonzalez Arguello, recently said “I know there is good quality rice grown in the United States, but since 2010 our experience with importations has been one of negative results due to the mixing of many varieties with low quality rice along the Mississippi River delta.” 1 The Rice Advocate reported that Mr. Gonzalez, said that “the inability of the U.S. rice industry to preserve the identity of the rice varieties shipped down the river onto ocean vessels in New Orleans is resulting in reduced milling yields, high broken grains,

higher storage costs (more time to mix), increased investment in electronic sorting equipment, resulting in a higher volume of product with lower commercial value.” Mr. Gonzalez also said that “consumer rejection is being caused by poor cooking quality, poor appearance in the package caused by chalk, lack of whiteness and non-uniform cooking
(soft grains mixed with hard grains).”

Texas Advantage

1NC – Texas Advantage
1. Alternative causes to decline in Texas rice farming – drought and lack of funding Henry, 12 ("After Water is Cut Off, Texas Rice Farmers Say They Still Have a Future", Terrence, March
2, stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/03/02/how-rice-farming-in-texas-could-still-have-a-future/) As the clock struck midnight Thursday, many rice farmers across southeast Texas had to face a

sobering reality: for the first time in history, they will not have water for their crops. “It
saddens me because like I said, my family’s been farming rice since 1905,” says rice farmer Paul Sliva. “This will be the first year we haven’t. There’s no other crop than rice for me. It’s gonna be a weird year. It’s gonna be a sad year for me.” How did this happen? Under an emergency plan to deal with the drought, the Lower Colorado River Authority cut off water to the rice farmers downstream in Matagorda, Wharton and Colorado counties because there wasn’t a enough water in the lakes. They were about a billion gallons short. Facing an Uncertain Future Texas rice farmers cut off from water for first time in history Download The lakes that hold that water mean different things to different people. For the people that live on the lakes – and many of whom make their living off of them – they’re a boon to property values and business. But when massive amounts of water were sent downstream to rice farmers

last year, more than three times the amount used by all of Austin, in the midst of a record drought no less, the lakes neared historic lows. And that hurt the lake interests, like the construction company owned by Buster Cole. He says rice farmers don’t appreciate the financial impact of their withdrawals from the lake. “They have no respect for the impact of what’s happening on our
Highland Lakes, from economic property values, business owners, all the things involved,” Cole says. “Everybody’s involved in this, and it’s bad.” For the city of Austin and many factories and some power plants, the lakes are a crucial source of water. And for the rice farmers? They say the water in the lakes is practically a birthright. “In a sense it’s our water,” says Haskell Simon, a rice farmer in Matagorda County. He says that without people like him growing rice, we wouldn’t have the lakes and dams we do today. “In order to give a more assured supply of water for that burgeoning industry, there was a pressure to develop those storage facilities which are now the Highland Lakes,” he says. But as the population of Central Texas has grown, with new factories and power plants along with it, rice farmers

have faced an uphill battle convincing people that the water belongs to them. And in the future – they’ll be getting less water. “It’s no doubt that there’s more and more of a claim
on the water in the basin every year,” says Joe Crane, who has a rice farm in Bay City and several other businesses that rely on the rice industry. “The rice industry just needs time. We’re right on the cusp of some technological changes that will allow us to grow more rice with less water.” Some of those

technological changes include new genetically-modified strains of rice that need less water. Farmers are also drilling their own wells, but that can cost a quarter million dollars. And many farmers have used lasers to level their fields, resulting in significant reductions in

how much water they use. Haskell Simon represents rice famers in Bay City, Texas. But none of these

options solves the problem of finding more water for a thirsty crop. That’s where a new plan comes in: take water flowing into the Lower Colorado below the Lakes and store it. “The drainage area of the Colorado river below Austin is sufficiently large that in good rainfall years, enough water flows into the Colorado below the dams for our needs,” says Haskell Simon, the Matagorda County rice farmer. To store that water, the LCRA is making a plan to build “off-channel reservoirs:” small offshoots of the river that capture water during heavy rains. But who’s going to pay for it? The LCRA says that’s still an open question. The rice farmers
are looking to the Department of Agriculture for help.

2. Double bind either –

a. Status quo wetland restoration solves Associated Press, 11 ("Texas wetland restoration could be model for Gulf", 7/1,
usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-07-01-texas-wetland-restoration_n.htm) BAYTOWN, Texas (AP) — Brown pelicans, long-necked egrets, flamingo-like roseate spoonbills and squawking seagulls fly lazily around a Texas Gulf Coast island. Nearby, a toddler-aged wetland seeded with marsh grass completes the ecosystem, its thousands of inhabitants unaware their home is a manmade creation dredged from the Houston Ship Channel. It's all part of a 20-year-old project to

restore lost wetlands and islands off the Texas coast. The federal government is hoping it could become a model for rebuilding these crucial ecosystems elsewhere in the fivestate Gulf region. This and other efforts to revitalize the environment and economy of the long-neglected coastal area are being partially bankrolled by a $1 billion fund from BP, which
agreed to pay the money as part of its responsibility for the massive oil spill that fouled the Gulf of Mexico. Harris Sherman, undersecretary for natural resources and the environment at the

U.S. Department of Agriculture, recently viewed a bird island and toured a "demo" wetland used to experiment how to best grow thick marsh grasses. "Strengthening the ecology of the Gulf area is critically important. In doing so we can improve the economy of the
Gulf region and strengthen the resiliency of the communities of the Gulf," Sherman said.

b. Or alternative causes make the plan insufficient NABCI, 13 (North American Bird Conservation Initiative, "Wetlands", The State of the Birds 2013
Report on Private Lands, www.stateofthebirds.org/habitats/wetlands-1)

More than half of our nation's historic wetland habitat base of 220 million acres has been lost, with losses exceeding 80% in some regions. Although substantial acres of wetlands have been restored and conserved through programs such as WRP, many of these gains have been offset recently. Wetland protections from the Clean Water Act have been reversed. Increasing crop prices have spurred a new wave of draining and converting wetlands for agricultural production. Residential development and urban expansion is impacting wetlands as well. Due to these pressures on our nation’s already greatly reduced supply of wetlands, a diverse mix of programs is needed to encourage and support private landowners who conserve wetlands.
Wetlands habitat is vital for breeding, migrating, and wintering birds.

3. The plan doesn’t solve migratory birds – global warming, disease and travel patterns are all more important than rice farming Grant, 13 ("Report: Climate Change Threatens Migratory Birds with Shifting Skies", Miles is the
National Wildlife Federations senior communications manager, https://www.nwf.org/News-andMagazines/Media-Center/News-by-Topic/Global-Warming/2013/06-18-13-Climate-Change-ThreatensMigratory-Birds-with-Shifting-Skies.aspx)

Climate change is altering and destroying important habitats that America’s migratory birds depend on and urgent action is needed to change that dangerous flight path, according to a
new report released today by the National Wildlife Federation. Shifting Skies: Migratory Birds in a Warming World details how a warming climate could lead to a decline in some bird

populations and even some extinctions if action is not taken to curb carbon pollution and adopt climate-smart conservation strategies. "From waterfowl to songbirds to shorebirds, the climate crisis is the most serious threat this century facing America’s migratory birds," said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "We need urgent action at the local, state and federal levels to cut carbon pollution and confront the changes we’re already seeing." Shifting Skies explains that migratory birds face unique challenges because each season they require different places to live, often thousands of miles apart, to raise their young, migrate and overwinter. At least 350 species in North America fly to South or Central America every fall and return in the spring. The report describes how climate change is adversely affecting bird behavior and includes specific examples in many regions of the U.S.: Birds’ ranges are shifting and in some cases, contracting. 177 of 305 species tracked have shifted their
centers of abundance during the winter northward by 35 miles on average in the past four decades. Coastal wetlands and beach habitats, home to birds like king rails and piping plovers, are disappearing, inundated by sea level rise. Global warming is exacerbating pests and disease, such as mountain pine beetle epidemics that have devastated many western forests. Changing precipitation

patterns threaten the Midwest’s prairie pothole region, known as "America’s duck factory."
Many ducks such as mallards and pintails face disappearing breeding habitat.

4. No impact to species loss Sagoff, 97 ("Do We Consume Too Much?", Mark is head of George Mason University's Institute for
Philosophy and Public Policy, http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97jun/consume.htm)

There is no credible argument, moreover, that all or even most of the species we are concerned to protect are essential to the functioning of the ecological systems on which we depend. (If whales went extinct, for example, the seas would not fill up with krill.) David Ehrenfeld,
a biologist at Rutgers University, makes this point in relation to the vast ecological changes we have already survived. "Even a mighty dominant like the American chestnut," Ehrenfeld has written, "extending over half a continent, all but disappeared without bringing the eastern deciduous forest down with it." Ehrenfeld points out that the species most likely to be endangered are those

the biosphere is least likely to miss. "Many of these species were never common or ecologically influential; by no stretch of the imagination can we make them out to be vital cogs in the ecological machine."

2NC – EXT – Biodiversity defense
Ecosystems are resilient McDermott, 9 ("Good News: Most Ecosystems Can Recover in One Lifetime from Human-Induced or
Natural Disturbance", May 27, Mat,www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/good-news-mostecosystems-can-recover-in-one-lifetime-from-human-induced-or-natural-disturbance.html

There's a reason the phrase "let nature take its course" exists: New research done at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Science reinforces the idea that ecosystems are quiet resilient and can rebound from pollution and environmental degradation. Published in the journal PLoS ONE, the study shows that most damaged ecosystems worldwide can recover within a single lifetime, if the source of pollution is removed and restoration work done:
Forests Take Longest of Ecosystems Studied The analysis found that on average forest ecosystems can recover in 42 years, while in takes only about 10 years for the ocean bottom to recover. If an area has seen multiple, interactive disturbances, it can take on average 56 years for recovery. In general, most ecosystems take longer to recover from human-induced disturbances than from natural events, such as hurricanes.

2NC – EXT – Drought alt cause
The emergency LCRA plan disproves the impact Hawkes, 13 ("Texas rice farmers could get relief from new reservoir project", Logan, May 9,
southwestfarmpress.com/irrigation/texas-rice-farmers-could-get-relief-new-reservoir-project)

One of the worst droughts in modern history caused the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to propose two consecutive years of an emergency water plan that, once approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), left Texas rice growers in a threecounty coastal region without adequate irrigation water to sustain their entire rice crops, forcing most farmers to limit rice acres and scramble to plant alternative crops, like cotton or
sorghum.

Ongoing drought makes it inevitable Heinrich, 13 ("Without River Water, Rice Farmers Look to Alternative Crops", Holly, July 9,
stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/07/09/without-river-water-rice-farmers-look-to-alternative-crops/) Rice has been growing in Texas since the 1800s, but for the past two years most rice farmers in

Southeast Texas along the Lower Colorado River have been cut off from their usual water supplies because of the ongoing Texas drought. It’s possible they will be cut off a third time next year, leading to the question: can rice farming continue along the Lower Colorado River? It they are cut off again next year, rice farmers on the Lower Colorado expect to lose the crop insurance benefits that have helped sustain them through the last two years without water. Some have begun planting less water-intensive alternative crops, such as sorghum and soy beans, to generate income on farms that are otherwise in economic limbo. But in this humid, onceswampy region stretching to the Gulf Coast, some rice farmers say that growing crops other than rice is not a permanently viable solution. That’s because the conditions that make the Lower Colorado River ideal for growing rice also make it inhospitable to other crops, according to Ron Gertson, a rice farmer who chairs the Colorado Water Issues Committee.

Empirically denied – 2012 drought Henry, 13 ("After Rice Farmers Cut Off Last Year, Water Use Cut in Half in Central Texas", Terrence,
6/11, stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/06/11/after-rice-farmers-cut-off-water-use-cut-in-half-in-centraltexas/)

In 2012, for the first time in history, most rice farmers on the Lower Colorado River in South

Texas were cut off from water for irrigation. According to an emergency drought plan, there wasn’t enough water in the Highland Lakes of Buchanan and Travis to send water downstream. In the months since, those lakes have continued to drop, and this year rice farmers were cut off once again. New numbers from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) show just how much was at stake in the decisions to withhold water: if normal amounts had been sent downstream for rice farming, the lakes could very well havedropped to their lowest levels in history. Dry conditions persist in many parts of Texas, now in a third year of drought.
While Central Texas had a relatively good 2012 rain-wise, it didn’t do much for the Highland Lakes.

Inflows were below average for most of the year, and the LCRA says that so far this year, inflows are looking more like they did in 2011, which were the lowest ever recorded.

2NC – EXT – Rice doesn’t solve migratory birds
Alt cause – climate change NRCM, 13 ("Report: Climate Change Threatens New England’s Migratory Birds", National Resources
Council of Maine, www.nrcm.org/news_detail.asp?news=5497) June 24, 2013 – Climate change is altering and destroying important habitats that New England’s migratory birds depend on and urgent action is needed to change that dangerous flight path, according to a new report released by the National Wildlife Federation. Shifting Skies: Confronting the Climate Crisis details how a warming climate could lead to a decline in some bird populations and even extinctions if we don’t take action to reduce carbon pollution and adopt climate-smart conservation strategies. “We are already seeing New England’s birds like the blackpoll warbler and the

Bicknell’s thrush at risk from climate change impacts including habitat changes and changes in nesting seasons”, says Hector Galbraith, staff scientist for the Northeast office of the National Wildlife Federation. “Climate change is a massive threat to birds right now. We need to act, or we will see declining bird populations”. Shifting Skies explains that migratory birds face unique challenges. Each season they require different places to live, often thousands of miles apart, to raise their young, migrate and overwinter. At least 350 species in North America fly to South or Central America every fall and return in the spring. The report describes how climate change is adversely affecting bird behavior and includes specific examples in many regions of the U.S.: • Birds’ ranges are shifting and in some cases, contracting. 177 of
305 species tracked have shifted their winter centers of abundance northward by 35 miles on average in the past four decades. • Coastal wetlands and beach habitats like Cape Cod and New England’s marshlands, home to birds like saltmarsh sparrows and piping plovers, are being inundated by sea

level rise or extreme weather. • A warming climate is exacerbating pests and disease,
including the hemlock woolly adelgid and the emerald ash borer. “Piping Plovers are struggling along our coast in New England right now”, said Pam Hunt of New Hampshire Audubon. “Between sea level

rise and the potential of storms like Sandy destroying their nesting areas, they are perched on a razor’s edge. We must not only protect their habitat but also curb climate change in order to ensure super storms and extreme weather events don’t wipe them out altogether”.

The impact is inevitable – global decline of migratory birds UNEP, 13 ("Loss and Degradation of Natural Habitats Threaten Migratory Birds, Pushing Species
towards Extinction", United Nations Environmental Programme, http://www.cms.int/news/PRESS/nwPR2013/05_may/unep_cms_pr_wmbd.pdf)

Migratory waterbird species that depend on a network of intertidal habitats along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) are showing rapid decline and are amongst the world’s most-threatened migratory birds. The decline is mainly caused by the fast pace of coastal land reclamation occurring in this densely populated region, particularly around
key coastal staging areas in the Yellow Sea. According to a 2011 report commissioned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the rates of decline in the region are

among the highest of any ecological system in the world. At least 24 waterbird species using
the flyway are heading towards extinction and many others are facing losses of five to nine per cent per year. According to the IUCN report, species such as the Spoon-billed Sandpiper could become

extinct within a decade. “Migratory birds and the challenges they face in many ways underline the ambition of multilateralism in a globalized world—it is only when countries
work together in common cause that the survival and conservation of these species be ensured,” said UN UnderSecretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “There are many reasons why migratory birds should be conserved—their beauty and behavior are a source of joy and inspiration for millions upon millions of people,” he added. “But they also are part of the web of life that underpins nature’s multi-trilliondollar ecosystem services, while being in some countries, including Kenya, part of the nature-based tourism that generates 10 per cent of the nation’s GDP.” This year, World Migratory Bird Day events will be celebrated in countries which share the African-Eurasian Flyways. In Kenya, for instance, a regional event will take place on the shores of Lake Elementaita—part of the Kenya Lakes Systems, a network of sites that supports 11 globally threatened bird species. The area also sustains

75 per cent of the near-threatened Lesser Flamingo, and Lake Elementaita is known to be one of the world’s major breeding colonies of the Great White Pelican. The event is
being hosted by the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) in cooperation with the UNEP/CMS and UNEP/AEWA Secretariats.

2NC – EXT – Status quo wetland restoration
The status quo solves – USACE and Texas restoration policies Arnold, 12 ("USACE Galveston District asists in the Texas Gulf Coast restoration initiative", Sandra,
www.dvidshub.net/news/94253/usace-galveston-district-assists-texas-gulf-coast-restorationinitiative#.UeycT9LOuuk) Barrier island shoreline stabilization: To combat erosion, the USACE Galveston District is creating

wetland and barrier islands along the Texas coast to replace shorelines that have been eroded over the decades. The stabilization of the shoreline and barrier islands will also continue to serve as vital habitat for nesting shorebirds as well as for the critically endangered
Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle and other sea turtles. The district continues to nourish beaches along the Texas coast as well as renourish eroding islands in Galveston’s West Bay. Additionally, the district will construct more beneficial use sites in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge during fiscal year 2013. Beneficial use: Annually, the USACE Galveston District dredges (removes sediment from underwater locations and transports it elsewhere via a barge or pipeline) approximately 30 to 40 million cubic

yards of mate¬rial from Texas ports to ensure waterways remain open for commerce.
While undertaking its mission of keeping America’s waterways navigable, the Corps uses the material to benefit local communities and improve eroded coastlines through beach nourishment and beneficial use pro¬grams to create marsh, restore sea grass and provide bird rookeries in Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and Laguna Madre. Oyster reef

restoration: According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, more than 8,000 acres of oyster reefs were lost in Galveston Bay during Hurricane Ike . With more than 50
percent of the oyster reefs in Galveston Bay impacted, the USACE Galveston District remains committed to working with its partners to construct more than 170 acres of oyster reefs in Galveston Bay and is planning to partner with the Nature Conservancy to create 12 acres of habitat at Half Moon Oyster Reef in Matagorda Bay in 2013. Sea grass protection: Sea grasses provide an invaluable habitat for

numerous fish species and contribute to the stabilization of recreational fishing grounds. The district contributes to the protection of sea grass by only dredging the Laguna Madre and other sensitive areas in the winter when the sea grasses are dormant and continuing to nourish the beds with a thin layer of beneficial use material derived from nearby dredging projects.
Regulatory permits involving dredging and other work in sea grass beds adhere to stringent guidelines and require mitigation or restoration to maintain the values of these special aquatic sites. Securing

freshwater inflows: The district’s Wallisville Lake Project protects freshwater intakes on the Trinity River from saltwater intrusion during periods of low flow for the City of Houston and widespread agricultural interests. Regional water resource management within
Texas also interfaces with Regulatory permits when water transfer projects are proposed in waters of

the United States. Threatened and endangered species: The Corps employs a variety of methods

to minimize impacts to threatened and endangered species including the use of turtle trawling monitors and excluding devices on dredges to reduce turtle takes (kills) and scheduling dredging and construction projects around various seasonal time frames to minimize impacts to nesting birds and turtles. Additionally, the district applies these same requirements
when issuing Regulatory permits to ensure minimal impact is made to our nation’s threatened and endangered species. Wetlands: Wetlands serve as valuable nurseries for fish and wildlife and

are also vital barriers during storms. Through permitting, the USACE Galveston District ensures that economic development in coastal areas can move forward while minimizing the impact on our environ¬ment. These wetlands have propelled the Texas Gulf Coast as one of the most important wintering and migration habitats in North America. The district’s Regulatory Branch provides strong protection of the nation’s aquatic environment, to achieve a goal of no net loss of wetlands while balancing economic prosperity with environmental sustainability. Way Forward: Continual erosion of the Texas coastline with
specific impacts to wildlife areas, wetlands, barrier islands, and residential and commercial properties has caused significant environmental and economic impacts. “In order to accurately assess the full extent of the damages, a three-year Coastal Texas Ecosystem Protection and Restoration

Study will provide a complete body of data that will enable staff to recommend a comprehensive strategy for storm damage reduction and ecosystem restoration along the
entire coastal area of Texas,” said Sallese.

CP

CP – Alan Gross

2NC – Solvency Advocate
Alan Gross release is a prerequisite to successful rice trade Robinson, 13 ("U.S. rice trade with Cuba entangled with jailed American", Elton, February 8,
deltafarmpress.com/blog/us-rice-trade-cuba-entangled-jailed-american)

Exporting U.S. rice to Cuba just can’t seem to get going. After importing U.S. rice in record numbers a few years back, Cuba’s imports of U.S. rice have now slowed to a trickle. Relations between the two countries have chilled considerably. Unfortunately, this is not likely to change until something is done about an American named Alan Gross, who has been sitting in a
Cuban jail for three years. In November 2009, Gross was an American international development expert working as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Gross was hired to implement a risky plan in Cuba, setting up broadband technology for small numbers of Jewish citizens in Havana. The technology provided the Cubans with unfiltered access to the Internet. Cuba’s security forces considered this a serious crime and on Dec. 3, 2009 arrested Gross at Havana’s Jose Marti Airport as he was attempting to leave Cuba. He was ultimately convicted for “acts against the independence or the territorial integrity of the state.” The 63-year old is now beginning the fourth year of a 15-year prison sentence, and apparently, Cuba has no intention of letting him go. In fact, they’ve recently used Gross as a bargaining chip for five Cuban spies convicted in Miami of various crimes including conspiring to shoot down two civilian airplanes in 1996, which killed four south Florida men. In rejecting the offer, U.S. officials noted that there is “no parallel” between Gross and the jailed Cubans. I agree. In most countries, giving people access to information is not only a right, but perfectly legal, and murder is a crime. The Obama Administration has stated that further talks on improving Cuba and

U.S. relations, including trade matters, will not resume until Gross is returned. While a trade
embargo might seem like a good way to bully outlaw states like Cuba into changing their ways, it’s far from a precision shot because it also punishes Cuban citizens who are in desperate need of goods and services, as well as U.S. producers who need their consumerism.

CP – Wetlands

1NC – Wetlands CP
Text – The state of Texas should substantially increase its watershed scale wetland management.

The counterplan solves the advantage better – preservation, protection and restoration WARPT, 10 ("Protect Wetlands Locally", Wetlands-At-Risk Protection Tool,
www.wetlandprotection.org/protect-wetlands.html#Land Conservation)

Local governments play a key role in filling the gaps in wetland protection, because they have primary responsibility for local land use management. Local action is particularly critical
in states that do not have comprehensive wetland protection programs. Protect Wetlands Using Regulatory or Voluntary Measures provides a review of regulatory and non-regulatory options for local governments. Ideally, a combination of approaches will be used. Managing wetlands at the

watershed scale can help minimize indirect impacts to wetlands. Direct impacts to wetlands
include the removal or addition of material such as dredging, filling, or draining that are largely regulated through the federal and state wetland permitting process. Indirect impacts such as altered hydrology, increased pollutant loadings, and buffer encroachment caused by urbanization are summarized in Wetlands & Watersheds Article 1. Using a watershed approach allows communities to make better

choices about preserving the highest quality wetlands, protecting the most vulnerable wetlands, and finding the best sites for wetland restoration. Wetlands & Watersheds Article 2
provides detailed information on using local watershed plans to protect wetlands.

2NC – Mechanism Explanation
The counterplan solves the aff better – restoration techniques, and sustainable protection WARPT, 10 ("Protect Wetlands Locally", Wetlands-At-Risk Protection Tool,
www.wetlandprotection.org/protect-wetlands.html#Land Conservation) Summary This article briefly outlined a proposed framework for integrating wetland management in the

context of local, state, and tribal watershed planning efforts. This conceptual approach for
local watershed/wetland management is particularly needed in watersheds with a large number of small or isolated wetlands that may not be fully protected and that are under considerable development pressure. In this approach, a watershed plan is created that meets the following principles: 1.

Compile wetland information on a watershed basis. 2. Assess local wetland protection capacity. 3. Identify wetland partners and roles. 4. Define wetland goals and objectives for the watershed. 5. Create an inventory of wetlands in the watershed. 6. Screen wetlands for further assessment. 7. Evaluate wetlands in the field. 8. Adapt watershed tools to protect wetlands. 9. Prioritize wetland recommendations. 10. Coordinate implementation of wetland recommendations. 11. Monitor progress toward wetland goals. The most important
part of the resulting watershed plan is a list of recommendations, which are ultimately implemented in order to meet the goals of the plan. Box 10 provides some examples of wetland-specific recommendations included within a watershed plan.

CP – Exports

1NC – Exports CP
Text – The United States federal government should reverse its ban on Mexican long-haul trucks entering the United States and expand its funding for the United States Drug Administration’s Market Access Program, the Foreign Market Development Cooperation Program, and the USA Rice Federation.

Counterplan solves the largest internal links to declining rice exports Park 10 (Manager of the International Rice Federation. "The National Export Initiative and the U.S. Rice
Industry". www.ricefarming.com/home/issues/2010-05/2010_MayUSARiceFed.html)

Doubling exports by 2015 may prove challenging, as the rest of the world’s countries also will be looking to bring their economies out of the recession. Most of the administration’s steps for the NEI will take considerable time to implement. However, there are several areas where immediate

attention and action could lead to job creation and maintenance, while increasing U.S. exports.¶ Market access barriers¶ As a historic net ex-porter, agriculture is one industry that can take the lead. But U.S. agriculture is being held back on several fronts and many market access barriers face U.S.-grown rice, in particular. First and foremost, Congress and the administration need to resolve the U.S. ban on Mexican long-haul trucks entering the United States. Thirteen months ago, Mexico subjected 90 agricultural and manufactured goods to increased import tariffs for violating terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement. So far, this has cost the United States $2.6 billion in lost exports and more than 25,000 lost jobs.¶ Many of the market access
barriers facing U.S. agriculture can only be addressed by negotiating a fair multilateral trade agreement within the World Trade Organization (WTO). Concluding the Doha Round will be paramount to the success of the NEI. Furthermore, three pending free trade agreements (FTAs) are waiting for action by Congress. Two of those FTAs, with Colombia and Panama, offer immediate benefits to the U.S. rice industry. The United States is lagging behind the rest of the world and losing its competitive edge by being a party to only 17 out of 400 existing FTAs.¶ What does the NEI mean for the U.S. rice industry?¶ U.S. rice farmers produce less than two percent of the world’s annual rice supply, but the United States is the world’s fourth largest rice exporter. The U.S. rice industry exports close to half of its crop annually. In 2009, the United States exported an estimated 93.6 million hundredweight (2.99 million metric tons) of rice to foreign markets, contributing more than $2 billion to the U.S. economy and providing thousands of American jobs.¶ The NEI goals are possible to achieve if progress is made in markets where specific constraints prevent a level playing field for U.S. rice. These include historically large markets for

U.S. rice, current markets and new markets with great potential.¶ Normalizing commercial trade with Cuba, for example, would recapture that market for U.S. rice. Prior to the current embargo, Cuba was a 400,000 to 600,000 metric ton (MT) market for long-grain rice producers. Trade resumed in 2002, after Congress passed the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export En-hancement Act of 2000 (TSREEA). But, in 2005, the U.S. Treasury Depart-ment’s reinterpretation of payment provisions of the TSREEA required payment through third-party banks in advance of shipment. This change, plus liquidity constraints in Cuba, led to a decline in U.S. rice exports to Cuba from 177,000 MT in 2004 to less than 13,000 MT in 2008. There was no trade in 2009 and none so far in 2010.¶ Iraq is a consistently large net importer of rice, with imports accounting for at least 69 percent, on average, of consumption. Import dependency for rice is at its highest level because of reduced domestic production and increased consumption. U.S. political support for expanding exports to Iraq is key to regaining this important market for U.S. rice. When U.S. sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, U.S. sales, which averaged nearly 450,000 MT in the late 1980s, dropped to zero. With minor exceptions, U.S. sales did not resume until 2005 at a reduced level.¶ Taiwan and the European Union (EU) are current markets for U.S. rice that pose several constraints where enforcement of trade rights has lagged.¶ Political opposition thwarts EU trade¶ Trade has not yet returned to normal levels between the EU and the United States since the unapproved genetically engineered (GE) Liberty Link 601 trait was found in the U.S. long-grain supply in 2006. The EU has a zero tolerance for unapproved GE traits. In 2005, the EU imported 306,000 MT of U.S. rice. Imports by 2009 had fallen to 27 percent of that amount.¶ True market recovery will be nearly impossible to achieve, absent establishment of a low-level presence policy for GE traits that are approved in other countries, but not in the EU. Additionally, the EU’s tariff regime for brown rice, the major type of U.S. rice exported to the EU, is complex and needs to be replaced. Both the EU and the U.S. governments recognize this, but negotiations have not begun, because of political opposition in the EU.¶ A potential new market for U.S. rice is China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that China imported roughly 330,000 MT from Thailand and Vietnam in 2008-09. A lack of a phytosanitary protocol with China prohibits U.S. rice from entering the country. Once this protocol is negotiated and implemented, U.S. rice exporters can begin market development in this important market.¶ Status of Free Trade Agreements¶ Regarding the pending FTAs, the implications for rice are specific to each agreement. Approval of the U.S.-Colombia FTA would set a tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 79,000 MT of U.S. rice in the first year; the quota would grow 4.5 percent annually until free trade is achieved in year 2019.¶ Similarly, the U.S.-Panama FTA would phase out Panama’s duties on U.S. rice over a 20-year period. Two separate TRQs would be established for rough rice and milled rice. The amount for each TRQ would increase six percent each year.¶ Access for U.S. rice in the Korean market was excluded in the final moments of negotiations, at the insistence of South Korea. FTAs entered into by the United States should be comprehensive and include all products, including those that are politically sensitive.¶ Also,

continued funding by Congress for USDA’s Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program are critical to achieving the president’s export objectives.¶ The USA Rice Federation uses these cost-share programs to promote U.S. rice in more than 40 countries. Funding for these programs is appropriated annually, and USA Rice supports continued full funding by Congress for these programs.

2NC – Solvency
Counterplan solves the largest threat to the rice industry ERS 11—Economic Research Service (“Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector”, April, http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/111364/rcs11d01_1_.pdf) The forces driving a decline in farm numbers and an increase in average farm ¶ size are primarily financial pressures and economic incentives. These factors ¶ are pushing rice producers to reduce per-unit costs by making more efficient use of resources
through greater specialization or by creating enhanced ¶ economies of scale (efficiencies from increased size). Previous research ¶ found that farm size, changes in production technologies, and specialization ¶ were largely responsible for boosting productivity and lowering unit costs in ¶ the poultry, swine, dairy, and the livestock sector as a whole (MacDonald, ¶ 2008; Key and McBride, 2007; MacDonald et al., 2007; and MacDonald ¶ and McBride, 2009). For example, MacDonald et al. (2007) found that the ¶ smallest dairy herd sizes in 2005 had output per cow that was 25 percent ¶ lower than the largest herd-size category, and per-unit total costs that were ¶ 121 percent higher.

Incentives solve and so does the status quo ERS 11—Economic Research Service (“Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector”, April, http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/111364/rcs11d01_1_.pdf)

Despite the considerable challenges confronting potential rice farmers or ¶ those wishing to expand the scale of their operations, ARMS data indicate ¶ that economic incentives for existing

rice farmers to remain in operation ¶ remain comparatively strong among major U.S. field crops.
Along with some ¶ exit barriers that may limit alternatives even for some less profitable rice ¶ enterprises, this suggests that rice acreage is likely to remain relatively stable ¶ in the future. Additionally,

increased productivity and more efficient resource ¶ use through improved agronomic management practices have allowed many ¶ producers to lower per-unit costs on existing rice area in order to remain ¶ competitive.

DA – Links

DA Links – Sustainable Agriculture

1NC – Link
The rice embargo incentivizes organic and sustainable agriculture Gonzalez, 3 ("Seasons of Resistance: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Cuba", Carmen G is
a Law Professor at Seattle University Law School, The National Agricultural Law Center, University of Arkansas School of Law, www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/bibarticles/gonzalez_seasons.pdf) D. Ecological Sustainability Cuban agriculture is now more ecologically sustainable as a

consequence of the drop in agricultural inputs occasioned by the Special Period and of the
Cuban government’s promotion of low-input organic methods. By the end of 1998, Cuban farmers were cultivating 4.5 million hectares of arable land.402 According to one estimate, approximately 1.5 million hectares were being cultivated using organic methods.403 Nearly 50% of fresh vegetables and 65% of

rice are currently organic.404 However, the behavior of key export sectors raises questions about
Cuba’s long-term commitment to organic agriculture. Cuba continues to rely on chemical-intensive methods for the production of export commodities such as sugar and tobacco, and it is unclear that

the vast majority of Cuban agricultural engineers and technicians see “green” agricultural techniques as anything but an accommodation to economic exigencies.405 While the current scarcity of foreign exchange favors the development of organic agriculture, it remains to be seen whether the Cuban government will continue to promote this
model once economic conditions improve.

2NC EXT – Link
Sustainable agriculture underlies Cuba’s rice production Kjartan, 2k ("Organic Farming and Urban Garden Revolution in Cuba", Renee, Washington Free Press,
www.purefood.org/Organic/cubagarden.cfm)

At first, Bourque said, sustainable agriculture was seen as a way to "suffer through" the shock of the Soviet withdrawal. "When they began this effort, most policy-makers could not
imagine any significant amount of rice being grown in Cuba without the full green-revolution technical package (e.g. high off-farm inputs). But by 1997 small-scale rice production had reached

140,000 tons, 65% of national production. Today everyone agrees that sustainable agriculture has played a major role in feeding the country and is saving Cuba millions of dollars," that would otherwise go "to the international pesticide cartel," Bourque said.

Global ag companies crowd out organic methods Barclay, 3 ("Cuba's security in fresh produce", Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy,
Eliza is a reporter for NPR, www.foodfirst.org/node/1208) Aside from the disruption in self-sufficiency, there is also growing concern that if the embargo is eventually lifted, global agricultural giants will persuade farmers to drop their organic

methods in favor of high pesticide and fertilizer usage. However, Dr. Nelso Campanioni
Concepción of INIFAT responded: "We are not going back. We will increase production, but we will not degrade the environment doing it." Speculating on the possible institutional reactions to a

global market that peddles genetically engineered seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers, Rosset said, "There is a possibility of a negative impact on the Cuban model. There may be a short term increase in pesticide use and a stronger interest in biotechnology, but
they may not last because they may not fulfill Cuban agricultural needs."

Cuba’s need to be self-sufficient incentivizes sustainable agriculture Ergas, 13 ("Food Sovereignty: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Cuba", Christina is a doctorate student
at the University of Oregon, March 1, a www.globalresearch.ca/food-sovereignty-sustainable-urbanagriculture-in-cuba/5332167)

The agricultural revolution in Cuba has ignited the imaginations of people all over the world. Cuba’s

model serves as a foundation for self-sufficiency, resistance to neocolonialist development projects, innovations in agroecology, alternatives to monoculture, and a more environmentally sustainable society. Instead of turning towards austerity measures and making concessions to large international powers during a severe economic downturn, Cubans reorganized food production and worked to gain food sovereignty as a means of subsistence, environmental protection, and national security.1 While these efforts may have been born of economic necessity, they are impressive as they have been developed in opposition
to a corporate global food regime.

DA Links – Politics

Notes
The bill to clarify “cash in advance” and change the financial institution policy was proposed in 2011 by House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). It was called the Agricultural Export Enhancement Act of 2011.

1NC – Politics Link
The plan ensures legislative fights and political trade offs Sullivan, 12 ("Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress", Mark P. is a Latin American Specialist , November
6, Congressional Research Service, www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41617.pdf) Before the approval of the measure, a legislative battle ensued over the potential inclusion of

two Cuba provisions. The first had been in the House Appropriations Committee-approved version of
the FY2012 Financial Services Appropriations bill, H.R. 2434, and would have rolled back to January 2009 the Obama Administration’s actions easing restrictions on remittances and on family travel. The

second provision also had been in H.R. 2434, as well as in the Senate Appropriations Committeeapproved version of the FY2012 Financial Services Appropriations bill, S. 1573, and would have continued to clarify—for the third year in a row—the definition of “payment of cash in advance” for U.S. agricultural and medical exports to Cuba so that the payment would be due upon delivery in Cuba as opposed to being due before the goods left U.S. ports.
(The text of these two Cuba provisions were also included in Division C, Section 632 and Section 634, of H.R. 3671, a “megabus” appropriations bill introduced by House Republicans on December 14, 2011.) Ultimately congressional leaders agreed to not include the two Cuba provisions in H.R.

2055. The White House reportedly had exerted strong pressure not to include the Cuba provision that would have rolled back the Administration’s easing of restrictions on travel and remittances. Dropping the second provision on the definition of “payment of cash in advance” for U.S. agricultural and medical products appears to have been a political tradeoff made to compensate for the travel rollback provision being dropped.

2NC – EXT – Link
Changing financial transfers is controversial Sullivan, 12 ("Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress", Mark P. is a Latin American Specialist , November
6, Congressional Research Service, www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41617.pdf) H.R. 2434 (Emerson)/S. 1573 (Durbin). FY2012 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations. H.R. 2434 introduced July 7, 2011, and reported by the House Appropriations Committee (H.Rept. 112-136). S. 1573 introduced September 15, 20111, and reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee (S.Rept. 112-79). Both bills had a provision (§618 of H.R. 2434 and §620 of S. 1573) that would have continued to clarify the definition of “payment of cash in

advance” for U.S. agricultural and medical sales to Cuba to “be interpreted as payment before the transfer of title to, and control of, the exported items to the Cuban purchaser.” The Senate bill had another Cuba provision (§624) that would have prohibited restrictions
on direct transfers from a Cuban financial institution to a U.S. financial institution in payment for licensed agricultural and medical exports to Cuba. The House bill had another Cuba provision (§901) that would have repealed any amendments to certain sections of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations relating to family travel (31 CFR 515.560(a)(1) and 31 CFR 515.561), carrying remittances to Cuba (31 CFR 515.560(c)(4)(i)), and sending remittances to Cuba (31 CFR 515.570) made since January 2009. The provision would have rolled back President Obama’s easing of restrictions on family travel and remittances in 2009 and the President’s easing of restrictions on remittances for non-family members and religious institutions in 2011. None of the Cuba provision in H.R. 2434 or S. 1573 were included in the FY2012 “megabus” appropriations measure, P.L. 112-74 (H.R. 2055), described above. In November 2011, an attempt to include the Senate version of the Financial Services appropriations

measure, S. 1573, in a “minibus” with two other full-year appropriations measures and a short-term continuing resolution failed in part because of disagreement over the Cuba provision that would have allowed direct transfers from a Cuban financial institution to a U.S. financial institution to pay for U.S. agricultural and medical exports to Cuba

2NC – AT: Congress passed the bill
The most recent bill was rejected by Congress Farm Press, 11 ("Appropriations bill omits language to benefit U.S.-Cuba agricultural trade",
December 20, westernfarmpress.com/government/appropriations-bill-omits-language-benefit-us-cubaagricultural-trade)

Congress approved and sent to the president a final fiscal year (FY) 2012 Treasury Department (Treasury) spending bill that does not contain the favorable definition of payment of cash in advance (PCA) for the sale of U.S. agricultural goods to Cuba, which is authorized by U.S. law. In the FY 2010 and FY 2011 Treasury spending bills, Congress had defined PCA to mean payment before the transfer of title to and control of the exported U.S. items to the Cuban purchaser . With the beneficial PCA definition removed, Treasury would apply the more restrictive regulatory definition imposed in 2005 by President George W. Bush, which says cash payment must occur before the U.S. agricultural goods leave the U.S. port. Congress also agreed to remove language from the bill that would have allowed for the direct transfer of payments from a Cuban to a U.S. financial institution to pay for cash purchases of U.S.
agricultural goods, which the Senate Appropriations Committee had included in its legislation.

Politics – AT: Ag lobbies
No impact to ag lobbies Pennington, 9 ("Comparative Politics", Chapter 10 "Interest Groups", Mark is a senior lecturer in
political economy in the Department of Politics, Queen Mary, University of London. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics p. 280) In addition to income and expertise, groups may find themselves empowered of disempowered in the political process owing to the place that their particular trade, profession or cause holds within the cultural imigination of the society concerned. Thus, agricultural interest groups have exercised

influence and have benefited from the large-scale subsidy programmes across Europe and in the USA, but the power of the agricultual lobby has been notably more pronounced in some countries than in others. In France, for example, the farming lobby has regularly drawn on a
climate of public opinion supportive of its political demands owing to the centrality of the peasant farming sector and traditional farming methods to the common percption of 'what it means to be French'. In the UK and USA, by contrast, while the farming interest is not without political

clout, it appears less able to mobilise the same degree of cultural symbolism with which to galvanise sections of the wider community.

The power of ag lobbies is declining Ellison, 12 ("Voters Favor Spending Cuts Over Farm Subsidies", Justin is a Farm Plus staff writer,
www.farmloans.com/blog/general-farm-loans/voters-favor-spending-cuts-over-farm-subsidies/) While it may have been unthinkable only a decade ago, convention political wisdom currently places spending cuts over farm subsidies and agricultural support. This sea change represents the increased anxiety over federal spending currently gripping many Americans, as well as the waning power of the agricultural lobby. Over the last two years, the agricultural sector has come increasingly under attack by

politicians looking to reduce federal spending. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has seen its
budgets repeatedly slashed, and farmers have been threatened with the elimination of direct farm payments. The budget proposed by the White House and last November’s supercommittee recommendations further commit the federal government to agricultural spending reductions, proposing over $30 billion in spending cuts over the next decade. While these proposals would

have been political suicide ten years ago, polling suggests that many voters find themselves less concerned with farm spending and more concerned with federal spending. A major
cause of this attitude is booming crop prices. According to the President of the National Farmers Union,

“What’s different this time is we have very strong commodity prices, and that is generally not a really good time to write a farm bill because everyone who is projecting the future says, `Oh, this is going to last forever.’” The willingness to accept farm-spending reductions also represents a

gradual, but ongoing, decrease in the power of the agricultural lobby. With fewer and fewer farmers entering the agricultural profession and the bulk of agricultural production being increasing concentrated in the hands of large-scale agribusinesses, farmers are finding fewer and fewer advocates in positions of political power.

Impact Turns

1AC Links
The US is getting outcompeted in other parts of the world and exports are declining—Latin America is key Childs 6/14— Agricultural Economist at the United States Department of Agriculture (2013, Nathan, “Rice Outlook: U.S. Rice Exports Are Projected To Decline 9 Percent in 2013/14”, USDA, http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1130734/rcs13f.pdf) EL

Total exports in 2013/14 remain projected at 98.0 million cwt, down 9 percent from 2012/13. The decline is based on tighter U.S. supplies and expectations of strong competition in the global market from Australia, Egypt, and Asia. Long-grain exports are projected at 69.0 million cwt, down 9 percent from a year earlier. The U.S. is likely to lose market share in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013/14. Combined medium- and short-grain exports are projected at 29.0 million cwt, a decline of 9.0 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. The United States is expected to face greater competition in global markets from Australia and Egypt in 2013/14, especially from

Egypt in the Middle East. By type, rough-rice exports are projected at 36.0 million cwt, up 1.0
million cwt from the year-earlier revised forecast. Latin America is expected to remain the top market for U.S. rough-rice exports, with Southern long-grain accounting for nearly all of the U.S. rough-rice shipments to the region. Combined milled- and brownrice exports (on a rough basis) remain projected at 62.0 million cwt, a drop of 15 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2006/07.

Case – Vietnam Market Share

1NC Vietnam
Easing the embargo on rice exports steals market share from Cuba Fletcher, 9 ("U.S. rice growers see Obama loosening Cuba embargo", Pascal, March 21,
www.reuters.com/article/2009/03/21/us-cuba-usa-rice-idUSTRE52K1D320090321 *citing U.S. Rice Producers Association President and CEO Dwight Roberts) Roberts said that easing the embargo would allow U.S. rice producers to take market

share in Cuba from Vietnam, which offers favorable credit terms to the Cubans, but whose shipments included lower-category "broken" rice. "The Cubans know rice, prefer quality ... Even if we're a bit higher (in price), they will buy U.S. rice," he said. The Vietnamese rice sector is crucial to its economy – the plan decreases their exports Nielsen, 2 ("Vietnam in the International Rice Market", Chantal Pohl, Fødevareøkonomisk Institut
www.foi.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Rapporter/~/media/migration%20folder/upload/foi/docs/publikatione r/rapporter/nummererede%20rapporter/130-139/132.pdf.ashx) This report has highlighted a number of issues related to Vietnam’s position in the international rice market that warrant further empirical research. It has identified the main rice policy instruments of both Vietnam and its major competitors and buyers, and has provided preliminary data that may form the basis for further empirical work. Given the overriding importance of the rice sector in the

Vietnamese economy in terms of production, consumption, employment and income generation, an applied general equilibrium framework would be appropriate. To this end a
thorough understanding of the way the different rice policy regimes function is necessary. Furthermore, the policy instruments must be quantified, and this may take the more partial based measures such as those presented in this report as a point of departure. Moreover, the importance of the other rice

producing countries’ policies for Vietnam’s rice trade performance makes it appropriate to view future policy reforms in a global perspective. Relevant analyses would include an investigation of the impact of Vietnam’s own policy liberalization efforts as well as trade and domestic policy reforms of other rice exporters, and the possible extension of market access by importers. As the ongoing debate about preferential trade agreements shows (see e.g.
Panagariya 2000 and Srinivasan 1998), the merits of unilateral trade liberalization versus regional and multilateral trade liberalization are theoretically ambiguous, and hence an empirical evaluation must be resorted to.

Vietnamese economic decline crashes Asia’s economy. Myanmar Times 10 — The Myanmar Times, 2010 (“In Vietnam, an impending catastrophe,” Byline
Roger Mitton, December 20th, Available Online at http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/news/554/news55404.html, Accessed 08-02-2013) On December 14, the European Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi discussed “The Future of

the Vietnam Dong”, with members mulling whether the currency would be devalued for a third time this year and how long the foreign reserves might last. Make no mistake, it is serious. Not only for Vietnam, but for neighbours like Cambodia and other members of the ASEAN grouping. If Vietnam’s economy crashes, the waves will wash over the region and threaten ASEAN, just as the banking crises in Greece and Ireland financially rocked the European Union. Asian economic decline causes war Auslin, 9 (“Averting Disaster”, Michael is a resident scholar at AEI, The Daily Standard, 2/6/2009,
http://www.aei.org/article/100044) As they deal with a collapsing world economy, policymakers in Washington and around the globe must not forget that when a depression strikes, war can follow. Nowhere is this truer than in Asia, the

most heavily armed region on earth and riven with ancient hatreds and territorial rivalries. Collapsing trade flows can lead to political tension, nationalist outbursts, growing distrust, and ultimately, military miscalculation. The result would be disaster on top of an already dire situation. No one should think that Asia is on the verge of conflict. But it is also important to remember what has helped keep the peace in this region for so long. Phenomenal growth rates in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and elsewhere since the 1960s have naturally turned national attention inward, to development and stability. This has gradually led to increased political confidence, diplomatic initiatives, and in many nations the move toward more democratic systems. America has directly benefited as well,
and not merely from years of lower consumer prices, but also from the general conditions of peace in Asia. Yet policymakers need to remember that even during these decades of growth, moments

of economic shock, such as the 1973 Oil Crisis, led to instability and bursts of terrorist activity in Japan, while the uneven pace of growth in China has led to tens of thousands of armed clashes in the poor interior of the country. Now imagine such instability multiplied
region-wide. The economic collapse Japan is facing, and China's potential slowdown, dwarfs any previous economic troubles, including the 1998 Asian Currency Crisis. Newly urbanized workers rioting

for jobs or living wages, conflict over natural resources, further saber-rattling from North Korea, all can take on lives of their own. This is the nightmare of governments in the region, and particularly of democracies from newer ones like Thailand and Mongolia to established states like Japan and South Korea. How will overburdened political leaders react to internal unrest? What happens if Chinese shopkeepers in Indonesia are attacked, or a Japanese naval ship collides with a Korean fishing vessel?

Quite simply, Asia's political infrastructure may not be strong enough to resist the slide towards confrontation and conflict. This would be a political and humanitarian disaster turning the clock back decades in Asia. It would almost certainly drag America in at some point, as well. First of all, we have alliance responsibilities to Japan, South Korea, Australia, and the Philippines should any of them come under armed attack. Failure on our part to
live up to those responsibilities could mean the end of America's credibility in Asia. Secondly, peace in Asia has been kept in good measure by the continued U.S. military presence since World War II. There have been terrible localized conflicts, of course, but nothing approaching a systemic conflagration like the 1940s. Today, such a conflict would be far more bloody, and it is unclear if the American military, already stretched too thin by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, could contain the crisis. Nor is it clear that the American people, worn out from war and economic distress, would be willing to shed even more blood and treasure for lands across the ocean. The result could be a historic changing of the geopolitical map in the world's most populous region. Perhaps China would emerge as the undisputed hegemon. Possibly democracies like Japan and South Korea would link up to oppose any

aggressor. India might decide it could move into the vacuum. All of this is guess-work, of course, but it has happened repeatedly throughout history. There is no reason to believe we are immune from the same types of miscalculation and greed that have destroyed international systems in the past.

2NC – Uniqueness – AT: Vietnam econ low
The Vietnamese economy is growing, but shaky --a. Declining interest rates and increasing foreign investment Bloomberg, 13 ("Vietnam Economic Growth Quickens as Investment Aids Exports", June 27,
www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-27/vietnam-s-economic-growth-quickens-as-investment-boostsexports.html)

Vietnam’s economic growth accelerated in the second quarter after the central bank cut interest rates to revive lending to businesses and rising foreign investment boosted the nation’s exports. Gross domestic product grew 5 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to the General Statistics Office in Hanoi. The central bank said today it would weaken its dong-dollar reference rate and that it would lower its rate caps on U.S. dollar and dong deposits effective June 28. Enlarge image Vietnam’s Economic Growth Quickens as Investment Boosts Exports The economy expanded 4.9 percent in the first half from a year earlier, the data showed, compared with a median estimate of 5 percent in a Bloomberg News survey
of seven economists. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg Vietnam’s central bank has cut its refinancing rate eight times since the beginning of 2012 to spur lending, and the government is setting up an asset management company to clear bad debt. The legislature last week voted to lower the corporate income tax rate to help businesses, while disbursed foreign investment rose 5.6 percent in the first half of 2013 to $5.7 billion, according to the Ministry of Planning & Investment. “This isn’t going

to be a strong growth year, but the economy is stabilizing,” said Gaurav Gupta, the
Hanoi-based managing director at General Motors Co.’s Vietnam unit, citing lower interest rates and inflation than in previous years. “This year should set the base for the government to take

actions to drive growth faster in the future.” b. Debt reduction efforts and inflation caps Reuters, 13 ("UPDATE 2-Vietnam eyes faster GDP growth of 6 pct in 2014", June 27,
www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/vietnam-economy-growth-idUSL3N0F30RY20130627) HANOI, June 27 (Reuters) - Vietnam will strive for annual growth of 6 percent in 2014,

accelerating from 5.5 percent projected for this year, and aims to boost investment and reduce bad debts, the government said on Thursday. It also will aim to cap annual inflation at 7 percent next year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in a directive seen on Thursday that ordered state agencies to start working on 2014 economic targets. The government has an official inflation target of around 8 percent this year but has hoped to keep it at 6.0-6.5 percent. The
directive provided no concrete details as to how Hanoi would breathe life into an ailing economy that

expanded at its slowest pace in 13 years in 2012 and is still hamstrung by bad debt, a staggering amount of bankruptcies and slow retail and credit growth. The government aims to boost domestic and

foreign investment and ensure effective provision of credit, it said. The 6 percent stated was a target, not an official growth projection. The Southeast Asian nation's economy grew an estimated 4.9 percent in the first half of 2013 from the same period last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said, confirming a government report released earlier. Gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter ending June rose 5 percent from the same period last year, a slightly faster pace than seen in the first quarter. "Production and business in the country are still facing difficulties, domestic market demand remains weak," said the GSO report,
adding that bad debt also weighed on the economy.

c. GDP increase

Bangkok Post, 13 ("Vietnam economic growth quickens", June 27,
www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/357226/vietnam-economy-accelerates-in-q2) HO CHI MINH CITY - Vietnam's economic growth accelerated in the second quarter after

the central bank cut interest rates to revive lending to businesses and rising foreign investment boosted the nations exports. Gross domestic product grew 5% in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to figures released on Thursday by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi. The economy expanded 4.9% in the first half from a year earlier, the data showed, compared with a median estimate of 5% in a Bloomberg News survey of seven economists. Vietnam's central bank has cut its refinancing rate eight times since
the beginning of 2012 to spur lending, and the government is setting up an asset management company to clear bad debt. The legislature last week voted to lower the corporate income tax rate to help businesses, while disbursed foreign investment rose 5.6% in the first half of the year to US$5.7 billion, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment. ``This isn't going to be a strong growth

year, but the economy is stabilising,'' said Gaurav Gupta, the Hanoi-based managing
director at General Motors Co's Vietnam unit, citing lower interest rates and inflation than in previous years. This year should set the base for the government to take actions to drive growth faster in the future.

2NC – Link – AT: No Cuba-Venezuela rice trade
Vietnam is Venezuela’s top rice supplier Merco Press, 11 ("Vietnamese teaching Cubans how to grow rice efficiently", South Atlantic News
Agency, December 6, en.mercopress.com/2011/12/06/vietnamese-teaching-cubans-how-to-grow-riceefficiently)

Bilateral cooperation in this field was launched in 2002, first in the eastern province of Granma and then was extended to other areas on the island. Vietnam is the chief supplier of rice to Cuba, according to government officials. Cuba imports over 400.000 tons of rice annually, 60% of
the total amount consumed by the island’s population. Rice is an essential ingredient of Cubans daily diet. Each of Cuba’s 11.2 million residents consumes an average of 11 pounds of rice per month, or more than 60 kilos (130 pounds) a year per person, or roughly 600,000 tons, according to

official figures.

2NC – Link – AT: No market trade-off
There is a direct tradeoff — rice market share is zero sum. Grain News, 1 ("Global Rice Market Forecast",
www.grainnet.com/articles/Oryza_com_Global_Rice_Market_Forecast-11743.html)

Efforts by various governments to support the rice industry and prices locally in the short-term, year after year has had a negative long-term effect for the industry as a whole. Government policies take away the effectiveness of economic mechanisms. With
intervention programs in place, production is not reduced to the extent it would be if government support was not a factor, and abundant supplies prevail. In India, for example, government efforts to assist farmers and the rice industry by procuring rice at a higher rate than the market can support have helped buffer stocks to swell to an unmanageable 22 million tons. The Indian government is now desperately looking for a solution and has been reluctant to subsidize export prices further to compete. Lowering the export price further in India would likely promote more interest from buyers, but would not reach levels high enough to promote a large reduction in stocks. The action would also ensure more losses by the Indian government, and would likely lead to price cuts by other countries also eager to make sales. India is now preparing for harvest and further procurement of rice. Given this reality, it is easy to expect the oversupply problem in the country to remain central for the visible future. During the past several weeks, U.S. rough rice futures prices have plummeted. Rice futures prices react to U.S. and global demand and industry news. Futures prices, and the movement of the futures market, indicate traders' perceptions on various supply and demand scenarios. Recent low prices for all futures contract months provide yet another indicator that there is little obvious reason to hope for rice prices to rise this year. Most U.S. industry analysts expect a record 2001 U.S. long-grain crop against limited prospects for largescale exports and stiff global competition.

As the gap between higher priced U.S. rice and competitors' rice narrows, competitors may simply react by lowering prices themselves. Opportunities for trade are finite. Countries gain greater market share only at the expense of the competition.

2NC – Impact – Economy
Rice is crucial to the Venezuelan economy – wages, employment and exports VTPA, 11 ("Rice", Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency,
www.vietrade.gov.vn/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=952&Itemid=239) VIETRADE - Rice plays the most important role among agricultural commodities in

Vietnam in terms of food security, rural wages and employment, and export revenues. Rice is planted on half of all agricultural land and involves nearly 80% of the farm population. Vietnam is easily one of the largest exporters of rice in the world . In 2009, Vietnam's rice exports reached a 20-year record high with the total rice export volume
reaching 6 million tons, up 28% from 2008 and exceeded the set target by 1 million tons. In the first 6 months, the country exported 3.4 million tonnes, earning export revenue of US$1.7 billion.

Case – Self-Sufficiency

1NC Asian Self-Sufficiency
Modern rice exports decelerate Asian self-sufficiency efforts Bishwajit et al., 13 ("Self-sufficiency in rice and food security: a South Asian perspective", Africa Food
and Security Conference, Ghose -- Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Tong Ji Medical College, Wuhan, China, Sajeeb Sarker, Marce-Amara Kpoghomou, Hui Gao, Liu Jun, Daogen Yin, Sharmistha Ghosh, www.agricultureandfoodsecurity.com/content/2/1/10/) The objectives of this study are twofold. First, it attempts to show the general situation and production trend of rice. Then by relating it to the current status and future potential, it proposes that reaching

self-sufficiency in rice production is the paramount item on the food security agenda in this region. South Asia is world’s most densely populated region and houses the largest population of undernourished people. Despite a period of marked economic growth averaging 6% a year over the past 20 years, it remains the world’s second poorest region with more than 500 million people living on less than US$1.25 a day. Yet, there has been a considerable improvement in food security steered by the Green Revolution, use of high-yielding rice varieties, increasing investments in agriculture, improved fertilizer use and irrigation infrastructure and the potential for further increase remains high. Firstly this paper
scrutinizes the role rice has been playing in the economy and food security of SouthAsia so far and that it is still the most potential means to improve the food security situation and tackle severe undernutrition as other sectors are, until now, far less furnished to address this issue. This paper probes into various economic and historical perspectives of rice economy and culture in this region, and shows

that self-sufficiency in rice production is paramount to its domestic food security, and thereby proposes that emphasis should be given on increased rice production which is decelerating amid the upsurge of modern economic sectors.

Turns the advantage – Asian self-sufficiency is crucial to food security. Independently, it solves Asian economy. Bishwajit et al., 13 ("Self-sufficiency in rice and food security: a South Asian perspective", Africa Food
and Security Conference, Ghose -- Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Tong Ji Medical College, Wuhan, China, Sajeeb Sarker, Marce-Amara Kpoghomou, Hui Gao, Liu Jun, Daogen Yin, Sharmistha Ghosh, www.agricultureandfoodsecurity.com/content/2/1/10/) From this study it is apprehensible that sustained production of rice is central to food security

in South Asia. Subcontinental land is quite capable of being self-sufficient in rice production and India and Pakistan have already proved that. Since poverty is another direct

cause of food insecurity, people can move out of stark poverty if they can be employed in

agricultural activities and many such projects are already in operation in many countries. From the present South Asian perspective, there is no other easier way to promote national food security than through gaining self-sufficiency in rice production. Raising agricultural
production is evidently the most direct way to tackle food insecurity in agronomic countries and agronomy is essentially rice economy in South Asia. The fact that most of the poor and

undernourished people of South Asia are living in rural areas, and that they are largely dependent on agriculture for their livelihood can be a problem and a solution at the same
time. Since agriculture is the mainstay of its economy, and the ratio of rice land to arable land is high in the subcontinent, there remains an opportunity to expand domestic rice production by

creating employment and income generating opportunities in the face of ever increasing demand for rice. If self-sufficiency is achieved, it will create scope for surplus production. Also, having a surplus of rice will allow rural people to profit and can lift them above the poverty line. In a strict sense, income generation and food security initiatives go hand-in-hand and this reality makes rice more important to food security in South Asia. This paper thus substantiates that agriculture is the backbone to the South Asian economy and that rice, being the staple agricultural product, holds the capacity to pull people out of stark poverty and ensure sustainable availability of food for the food-insecure population. Asian economic decline causes war Auslin, 9 (“Averting Disaster”, Michael is a resident scholar at AEI, The Daily Standard, 2/6/2009,
http://www.aei.org/article/100044) As they deal with a collapsing world economy, policymakers in Washington and around the globe must not forget that when a depression strikes, war can follow. Nowhere is this truer than in Asia, the

most heavily armed region on earth and riven with ancient hatreds and territorial rivalries. Collapsing trade flows can lead to political tension, nationalist outbursts, growing distrust, and ultimately, military miscalculation. The result would be disaster on top of an already dire situation. No one should think that Asia is on the verge of conflict. But it is also important to remember what has helped keep the peace in this region for so long. Phenomenal growth rates in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and elsewhere since the 1960s have naturally turned national attention inward, to development and stability. This has gradually led to increased political confidence, diplomatic initiatives, and in many nations the move toward more democratic systems. America has directly benefited as well,
and not merely from years of lower consumer prices, but also from the general conditions of peace in Asia. Yet policymakers need to remember that even during these decades of growth, moments

of economic shock, such as the 1973 Oil Crisis, led to instability and bursts of terrorist

activity in Japan, while the uneven pace of growth in China has led to tens of thousands of armed clashes in the poor interior of the country. Now imagine such instability multiplied
region-wide. The economic collapse Japan is facing, and China's potential slowdown, dwarfs any previous economic troubles, including the 1998 Asian Currency Crisis. Newly urbanized workers rioting for jobs or living wages, conflict over natural resources, further saber-rattling from North Korea, all can take on lives of their own. This is the nightmare of governments in the region, and particularly of democracies from newer ones like Thailand and Mongolia to established states like Japan and South Korea. How will overburdened political leaders react to internal unrest? What happens if Chinese shopkeepers in Indonesia are attacked, or a Japanese naval ship collides with a Korean fishing vessel?

Quite simply, Asia's political infrastructure may not be strong enough to resist the slide towards confrontation and conflict. This would be a political and humanitarian disaster turning the clock back decades in Asia. It would almost certainly drag America in at some point, as well. First of all, we have alliance responsibilities to Japan, South Korea, Australia, and the Philippines should any of them come under armed attack. Failure on our part to
live up to those responsibilities could mean the end of America's credibility in Asia. Secondly, peace in Asia has been kept in good measure by the continued U.S. military presence since World War II. There have been terrible localized conflicts, of course, but nothing approaching a systemic conflagration like the 1940s. Today, such a conflict would be far more bloody, and it is unclear if the American military, already stretched too thin by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, could contain the crisis. Nor is it clear that the American people, worn out from war and economic distress, would be willing to shed even more blood and treasure for lands across the ocean. The result could be a historic changing of the geopolitical map in the world's most populous region. Perhaps China would emerge as the undisputed hegemon. Possibly democracies like Japan and South Korea would link up to oppose any

aggressor. India might decide it could move into the vacuum. All of this is guess-work, of course, but it has happened repeatedly throughout history. There is no reason to believe we are immune from the same types of miscalculation and greed that have destroyed international systems in the past.

2NC AT: No link
Their 1AC evidence -Timmer 10-- non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development (“The Changing Role of Rice in
Asia’s Food Security”, September, C. Peter, http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/pub/2010/adbwp15-rice-food-security.pdf) EL

The food crisis of 2007–2008 caught most of the countries in Asia unprepared for a sudden spike in food prices, especially the price of rice. The panicked response of both rice importing and exporting countries is testimony to the continued political importance of rice, but also to how little long-run strategic planning has gone into the formation of rice policy in Asia, and its relationship to food security. The relatively minor impact of the food crisis on the welfare of poor consumers in Asia, as far as the data indicate, suggests that rice might not be as critical to food security as political economists who analyze Asian policy are used to thinking. Part of this result stems directly from the overall success in keeping rice prices stable in most of the large Asian countries, mostly by using trade policies that had a devastating impact on prices in the world market for rice (Dawe 2010). But part of the lack of impact may result from the fact that rice prices were already high in many Asian countries, and the poor had already been affected. Finally, rice may simply not be as important in the food baskets of most Asian consumers as it used to be. Food security in Asia has traditionally been defined as having stable prices for rice in the major urban markets of a country. The world market was used as an instrument to defend this goal, with imports and exports controlled by government authorities tasked to defend stable prices (Timmer 1996). That approach to food security made sense when a third of the economy was dependent on rice production, marketing, and consumption, and well over half of daily caloric intake in some countries came from rice. Except for a few important exceptions— Bangladesh and Viet Nam still get more than half their calories from rice, for example—that world no longer exists. But the mindset still exists, and most discussions about food security in Asia even in 2010 still focus on rice (Timmer 2010a). It is time to update that mindset. Part of the updating requires a clearer recognition of who consumes rice. Increasingly, rice is consumed by the poor, who usually must buy most of their rice in rural and urban markets. Almost by definition, having a surplus of rice to sell to the market raises a family above the poverty line in most Asian countries. This reality, of course, makes rice more, not less, important to food security in Asia, but it also makes a mockery of the strategy of most Asian countries of keeping rice prices stable by keeping them high, well above long-run levels in world markets. When food security is equated with food self-sufficiency, this strategy may make sense, because it is easier to stabilize domestic food prices using domestic production—stimulated by high prices—than to follow and depend on the world market for rice, with its great price volatility. But this strategy forces poor consumers to pay high prices for rice, and it increases considerably the degree of poverty in a country. Self-sufficiency in rice is a political strategy, not a poverty strategy. If countries were more open to rice trade, they would be richer, not poorer. The big question is how to make such openness possible when

policy makers and the general public distrust the world rice market, for reasons that are easy to understand (Timmer 2010e).