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Textile News

Textile Economic Aid Program Authorized

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued regulations and guidelines for a textile economic aid program that provides subsidies to mills designed to encourage modernization and competitiveness. Under the program, mills may receive 4 cents per pound for eligible cotton, and the funds must be used for capital improvements to their property by acquiring, constructing, installing, modernizing, developing, converting or expanding land, plant, buildings, equipment, facilities or machinery.

Since the law providing for the payments was enacted August 1, 2008, and it took this long to get the regulations written, payments will be made for cotton consumed as of that date. The program will run until July 31, 2012.

Anderson Warlick, Parkdale Mills, chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), said “the timely release of funds under the Economic Adjustment Assistance Program is critically important given the financial challenges faced by US textile manufacturers dealing with uncertain markets, a sluggish economy and continued erosion of US markets by subsidized textile and apparel imports. These funds can be an important component of our continued efforts to modernize our facilities and maintain competitiveness.”

The program was endorsed  by the National Cotton Council, which worked closely with NCTO to get the program included in the 2008 farm law. Costs of the program were offset by adjustments in the cotton program in order to make the subsidy program budget-deficit neutral.

Details of the program are available online at www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=coop&topic=landing.

December 16, 2008