Farm Trade Proposals Concern Cotton Growers
James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent
Woods Eastland, president of the National Cotton Council, said Portman's proposals represent a “very aggressive stance” and would require significant cuts in US farm programs if agreed to by members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Congress. Warning that there must be “ corresponding gains in market access,” Eastland said, “The troubling aspect for the US cotton industry is that China - the world's largest cotton market - continues to seek special treatment in the WTO so it can avoid market access concessions.” In addition, he said, the US cotton industry cannot allow countries with highly competitive agricultural products to avoid making concessions “ simply based on their self-declaration as a developing country.”
Regardless of what happens, he said, it is imperative Congress provides programs that result in “an effective safety net” for US cotton producers.