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NCC opposes any more constraints on US cotton policy
28
Oct '15
America's National Cotton Council is opposed to any efforts to further limit US cotton policy in the World Trade Organization's (WTO) ministerial meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in December, it said in a press release.

That was one of the key messages NCC President and CEO Gary Adams delivered in Washington recently in his testimony before the House Agriculture Committee's hearing: "Foreign Subsidies: Jeopardizing Free Trade and Harming American Farmers."

Adams' testimony came as the Memphis-based NCC continues its active engagement with US trade officials at the WTO, as well as with Congress, to ensure US trade negotiators maintain a firm commitment not to accept any further concessions to American cotton policy.

He stated that there have been repeated comments from numerous countries for there to be "something more" done on cotton policy at this upcoming Ministerial but "we believe that the actions already taken by the US with respect to cotton policy should be more than sufficient to allow US negotiators to resist any further calls for concessions on cotton."

Adams told the Committee that American cotton farmers are indeed competing with international farmers who are benefitting from higher support levels. He cited a recent International Cotton Advisory Committee report that estimated average direct assistance to cotton production across all countries at $0.26 per pound -- but only $0.07 per pound average support for US cotton production.

Adams also reiterated US Trade Representative Michael Froman's comments before the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year that a defensive posture regarding US cotton support is outdated and justifies a shift in focus to other countries' status regarding their WTO obligations.

The NCC will continue to urge American negotiators to push other countries to be as current and as transparent as the US is with their domestic support notifications, Adams stated, while emphasizing that American programmes are not having a detrimental impact on world markets or producers in other countries.

“I encourage the House Agriculture Committee and our negotiators to hold firmly to the position that agricultural markets have changed over the past decade, and that U.S. cotton policy has evolved in ways that far exceed the previous demands within the WTO. A cotton specific 'solution' focused on developed countries does not address the realities of today's global fiber markets," Adams said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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