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Washington Outlook Archive

Imports Of Raw Cotton To Be Permitted

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it will permit textile mills to import a limited amount of raw cotton under the program designed to help make US textile manufacturers competitive in world markets. This is the third time this year the USDA has announced special import quotas in the 2003-04 marketing year. The clearance to import was taken under the so-called Step #3 of the government's cotton competitiveness program, and it will allow imports of about one week's domestic mill consumption, or about 119,000 bales. This is because the price for domestic cotton has exceeded the world price. The special import quota will cover purchases made between May 20 and August 17 and entered into the US no later than Nov. 15. Despite some of the earlier import quotas, the USDA reports that only 2,600 bales of upland cotton have been imported since August of 2003.

May 2004