|ATMI Study Points to Huge US Apparel Market Gains by China|
An American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) study predicts China could claim up to three-fourths of US apparel markets when import quotas are completely eliminated effective Jan. 1, ’05, in compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement. According to "The China Threat to World Textile and Apparel Trade" released by ATMI July 2, China alone could "take control of 65-75% of the US market, bringing about the collapse of the US textile and apparel industry and the loss of 630,000 jobs."
NCC has joined ATMI and other textile and fiber organizations in a call for the US government to act quickly to utilize the special textile safeguard included in China’s WTO accession agreement. The safeguard allows placement of temporary quotas on imports of textiles and apparel from China if quotas have been removed on those products and shipments have surged. According to regulations published May 21 by the Commerce Department, "quotas may be granted if the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements determines that increased imports from China are due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in textile and apparel goods."
ATMI’s study concluded that China’s market share in 29 categories of apparel that had quotas removed in ’02 has increased from 9 to 45% and may reach 65% by the end of ’03. ATMI also predicts apparel production in countries with preferential trade agreements with the US, including Mexico, Central America and sub-Saharan Africa, will shift to China.
|Biopesticide Registered for Control of Aflatoxin in Cotton|
EPA approved the use of the biopesticide Aspergillus flavus AF36 in Arizona and Texas to control aflatoxin in cotton. AF36 is a naturally occurring strain of Aspergillus flavus that does not produce aflatoxin. AF36 has potential for use on corn and other crops but is currently registered for cotton only.
Registration of AF36 is the result of a collaboration between USDA-ARS, the Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council, the NCC, Cotton Incorporated and Interregional Research Project No. 4.
|More Accurate Children’s Burn Data Sought by CPSC|
A new data collection system launched by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), announced July 1, is a cooperative effort with the American Burn Assn., the Shriners Hospitals for Children and the National Assn. of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) to get more accurate data for all clothing-related burns for children under age 15.
In a related effort, NASFM is working cooperatively with CPSC to retrieve and preserve children's clothing involved in burn injuries - an action that greatly enhances the investigative process. Garments collected by fire officials will be forwarded to CPSC for inspection.
All of the burn groups have been critical of CPSC’s burn data collection since the adoption of children’s sleepwear amendments in 1996, even though CPSC has looked at all available data, including the data from the Shriners. CPSC, in a letter and report to Rep. Tauzin (R-LA) and the House Commerce Committee, reported that it has yet to find a single case related to the amendments. If CPSC continues to find no cases related to sleepwear with the new system, it should help discourage continued legislative attempts by these groups to repeal the ’96 amendment and to set severe standards for apparel for all children under 7.
|Controversial Environmental Case Still Being Challenged|
Debate continues over the controversial decision made in the Forsgren case in April ’02 in which the court ruled that aerial applications of pesticides could be considered direct, or "point-source," pollutants and therefore subject to permitting under the Clean Water Act.
The EPA has yet to act on this decision, but has stated that it is preparing to release guidance to "help clarify confusion that has arisen following multiple legal cases challenging aquatic pesticide and aerial applications under the Clean Water Act." Such guidance is expected in the next few weeks.
The concern is that growers may ultimately be required to obtain an EPA permit for each aerial application of pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer unless strict measures are taken. The NCC joined other agricultural organizations in encouraging lawmakers to engage the Attorney General to ask the Supreme Court to hear the Forsgren case. The Justice Department declined to appeal the ruling. CropLife America continues to take independent action in attempting to persuade the court to hear the case.
The NCC will continue to work with all sectors of the agricultural community to ensure this ruling does not interfere with growers’ ability to provide timely, cost-effective pest control to their crops as well as limit regulatory burdens.
|EU Approves Biotech Labeling, Traceability|
The European Parliament approved labeling and traceability rules governing biotech products that will require all food and animal feed with a biotech content of more than .9 percent to be labeled and will establish a rule on traceability – a paper trail of documentation that will accompany food with a biotech ingredient. The new regulations reportedly also will streamline procedures for the authorization of biotech food and feed products. About 20 applications currently are pending approval.
The labeling rule would become effective 20 days after the final text is approved by European Union (EU) ministers and will be reviewed after 2 years. The rules establishing procedures to authorize new products will take effect 70 days after the ministers sign-off on the text.
An EU spokesman predicted the new legislation will lead to a lifting of the de facto 5-year moratorium on approvals of biotech products and called for the US to withdraw its World Trade Organization dispute settlement proceeding.
|State of US Ag Biotechnology Reviewed|
House Ag Committee Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) voiced concerns over the "ignorance, emotion and hysteria" seeming to control the European policy and applauded the US decision to take the European Union (EU) before the World Trade Organization (WTO). His comments were made in a hearing called by the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Rural Development and Research to discuss and review the state of agricultural biotechnology with the EPA, FDA and USDA.
Discussion centered around the regulatory structure’s status and an update on the agencies’ needs. EPA, USDA and FDA officials were upbeat concerning the current regulatory structure and agreed that the agencies had adequate resources and funds for registration and regulation of biotech products.
In the opening comments of the meeting, Subcommittee Chairman Lucas (R-OK) expressed concern over comments by some members of the House made during debate of HR 252, supporting the US action in the WTO concerning the EU. Chairman Lucas said, "some statements on the House floor erroneously suggested that products of biotechnology were not regulated. I find it quite interesting that I have before me 3 witnesses from 3 different agencies and all of them have a hand in regulating products of biotechnology."
HR 252 was approved, 339-80, on June 9.
|‘Today's Challenges - Tomorrow's Solutions’ Is ’04 Beltwide Focus|
"Today's Challenges - Tomorrow's Solutions" is the theme of the ’04 Beltwide Cotton Conferences to be held at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, TX, Jan. 5-9.
The 49th annual Beltwide Cotton Production Conference is set for Jan. 6-7. Among topics being considered for its general session are: 1) a cotton breeding/improvement update, 2) the impact of production practices on fiber quality and spinnability, 3) the advantages of cotton rotations with corn and small grains, 4) a grower’s planting investment, including alternatives to seed treatments and rates, 5) new high-volume uses for cotton lint and yarn and 6) cotton export market development.
Information will be mailed to previous attendees in mid-September and posted on the NCC’s web site, http://beltwide.cotton.org. Questions can be directed to the NCC’s Debbie Richter, P.O. 820285, Memphis, TN 38182 (901) 274-9030 FAX (901) 725-0510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|’03 P.I.E. Program Tours Set|
The NCC has scheduled dates and locations for the ’03 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program. Cotton producers from New Mexico, Arizona and California will see operations in Alabama and Georgia July 12-17; producers from Oklahoma and Texas will travel to Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi July 26-31; producers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia will tour California Aug. 2-7; and producers from Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee will visit Texas Aug. 9-14.
The NCC’s Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer associations, conducts the P.I.E program, which enables producers to observe cotton production and talk to their peers in regions different than their own.
Upon completion of the ’03 tours, the P.I.E. program will have exposed nearly 700 US cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own. The program has been funded since its ’89 inception by grants from FMC Corporation to The Cotton Foundation.
|Export Sales Total 13 Million Bales|
Net export sales for the week ending June 26 were 74,800 bales (480-lb.), resulting in total ’02-03 sales of approximately 13 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the ’01-02 marketing year were approximately 12.5 million bales. Total new-crop (’03-04) sales are 1.5 million bales.
Shipments for the week were 261,100 bales, bringing total exports to date to 10.6 million bales, slightly ahead of the 10.3 million bales at the comparable point in the ’01-02 marketing year. If the pace of recent weeks is maintained, exports for the marketing year would reach USDA’s projection of 11.4 million bales.
|Prices Effective July 4-10, 2003|