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2002 farm law good foundation for new legislation

Mar '07
National Cotton Council Chairman John Pucheu, speaking to the Southern Cotton Ginners Association here, said new farm legislation should be patterned after the basic provisions of the 2002 farm law. “Continuation of an effective marketing loan that is applicable to all production is the foundation of such a farm policy,” the Tranquillity, Calif., producer said. “A fully functioning marketing loan allows U.S. cotton to remain competitive in domestic and world markets.”

Pucheu told the audience that Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns often reminds the U.S. cotton industry that we export 80 percent of our annual production and we need greater market access.

Focusing on trade policy Pucheu stated, “It is interesting to note that quotas and duties are essential components of current domestic biofuels policy. Had the same protection been extended to our domestic textile industry in the past decade, our cotton export picture would look entirely different than it does today. Imagine what U.S. cotton prices would be like if our mills still used 12 million bales of cotton.”

Reiterating the NCC's position that market access is a critical component of Doha negotiations, Pucheu asked, “Where is China in the Doha negotiations? What is the U.S. seeking in market access commitments from China? The National Cotton Council has made clear that its support for the ambitious U.S. proposal on reductions in domestic support is predicated on commensurate increases in market access. That means credible clear-cut results on China.”

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