The National Cotton Council aggressively tackled U.S. cotton’s priorities throughout 2019. Among major actions were advocating for disaster/recovery assistance package legislation and working closely with USDA and the House and Senate agriculture committees on timely 2018 farm law implementation.
During the FY20 budget process, the NCC opposed cuts to crop insurance. The NCC also worked to make sure cotton’s priorities were maintained in USDA’s FY20 budget and discouraged detrimental amendments that sought to undo fundamental farm law programs.
On the trade front, the NCC engaged with the Administration and Congress on the importance of reaching a resolution in the U.S.-China negotiations with the aim of getting improved access in China for U.S. cotton and cotton textile products. The NCC conveyed U.S. cotton’s recommendations for the Administration’s second round of Market Facilitation Program trade assistance – to offset China’s retaliatory tariffs. We stepped up outreach with Congress to build support for U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement approval and communicated with Congressional leaders on the need to strengthen the Berry Amendment provisions in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
A major undertaking was the launch of a pilot of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol farm-level sustainability initiative. That involved assembling a multi-stakeholder board and working with groups, organizations and industry firms to create the program, bolster producer participation and reaching out to brands and retailers to help them understand how the Trust Protocol provides sustainable U.S. cotton for their supply chain.
The NCC also monitored court cases, agency rulemaking and other regulatory activity on production issues ranging from “Waters of the U.S.” to worker protection standards and on cotton flow issues ranging from commercial driver’s license to warehouse reporting requirements.
Cotton Council International (CCI) continued to position U.S. cotton as the “The Cotton the World Trusts” and conveyed U.S. cotton’s sustainability efforts, including the Trust Protocol rollout, in multiple promotional events.
The Cotton Foundation Board of Trustees approved funding for nine general research projects totaling $212,000 for 2019-20. Included are studies related to pest management, sustainability, regulatory issue information gathering, plant protection products re-registration, risk data updating and education.
More details of the NCC’s 2019 activities follow under the major headings of Legislative Affairs, Trade, Communications, Technical, Cotton Council International and The Cotton Foundation.
K. Michael Tate, Chairman (2019)
Gary Adams, President/Chief Executive Officer
|K. Michael Tate
President/Chief Executive Officer