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|NCC Leaders Visit Key WTO Officials|
NCC Chairman Woods Eastland and Vice Chairman Allen Helms were joined by NCC President/CEO Mark Lange in meetings with WTO officials and US representatives in Geneva, Switzerland. The leaders had their first opportunity to meet Crawford Falconer, newly appointed chair of the agricultural negotiations and of the special cotton subcommittee.
Chairman Falconer, a New Zealand native, has considerable experience in trade policy and previously has served at the WTO. NCC representatives described the organization’s trade priorities, especially the importance of a single undertaking in the WTO agricultural negotiations, to Falconer and sought reassurance that the special subcommittee would continue only as a monitoring body. Falconer indicated that the expected trade-off between increased market access in developing countries and decreased domestic support in developed countries was coming into sharper focus in the overall agricultural negotiations while special and differential treatment of some products remains a difficult problem. He expressed the desire to maintain the special cotton subcommittee in its current monitoring capacity.
The NCC delegation also met with WTO Director General Pascal Lamy and Chiedu Osakwe, director of Doha Special Duties Division. The discussions centered on the deliberations of the special cotton subcommittee and overall progress in the agricultural negotiations. Additionally, the NCC briefed the WTO officials on recently completed training initiatives in cotton classing, soil management and entomology with W. African scientists.
Both WTO officials expressed hope that the current negotiations would realize the dual goals of trade improvement and development opportunities. Each noted that the WTO Brazil cotton ruling and the existence of the cotton special subcommittee would bring additional attention to cotton as the Hong Kong ministerial meeting drew closer. They stressed the importance of continuing support for the projects currently underway and encouraged efforts to work for long-term commitments in improving the quality of rural life in W. Africa.
WTO textile counselor Jean Pierre LaPalme also met with the NCC representatives. The delegation stressed the NCC position that US duties are among the lowest in the world and should not be reduced until the remaining textile trading economies match the already low US levels. The NCC also pointed to the difficulties in the negotiations if China, the world’s largest textile and apparel manufacturer, uses its position of recent accession to avoid further disciplines.
NCC representatives also met with recently appointed US WTO Ambassador Peter Allgeier who noted the pressure on the US to maintain leadership and discipline as the Hong Kong WTO ministerial meetings draw near. He said the NCC’s W. Africa initiatives have been acknowledged by many nations in the Doha Development Agenda. Ambassador Allgeier stated that the single undertaking approach offered the only means of attaining comprehensive negotiations in agriculture.
In all of the Geneva meetings, the NCC delegation stressed the importance of comprehensive improvement in all areas of trade relating to fiber, textiles and apparel.Potential benefits from the Doha round for the world’s cotton producers will be mitigated if industrial trade practices in several developing countries are not addressed. China is the world’s largest producer of cotton and polyester fiber as well as textile and apparel products. The delegation stressed that a Doha round that focuses solely on the domestic support of developed economies will not produce the trade or development agenda sought by any of the parties.
|House Passes ESA Reform Measure|
The House passed legislation that would overhaul a number of provisions of the ’73 Endangered Species Act and establish a process to compensate property owners for land-use restrictions resulting from the law’s enforcement.
The bill (HR 3824), known as the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act, was authored by Resources Committee Chairman Pombo (R-CA) who has worked extensively on the issue. It was approved on a bipartisan vote in the Committee and strongly supported by a broad coalition of organizations including the NCC. It was approved 229-193 after the House rejected a substitute by Reps. Miller (D-CA) and Boehlert (R-NY) that would have eliminated the provision which provides compensation and certainty to property owners.
The legislation now moves to the Senate where Sen. Chafee (R-RI), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water, said the earliest he expects to consider the bill would be January. Chafee also expressed reservations about the House-passed version.
|Continuing Resolution Approved|
The House-passed Continuing Resolution (CR) measure to fund government operations to Nov. 18 was expected to get Senate approval on Sept. 30. The CR would fund operations at the lower of the: ’05 level, the House-passed ’06 level or the Senate-passed ’06 level. If Congress completes action on an appropriations measure and it is signed prior to Nov. 18, then funding would be provided at that level.
The legislation does not include any special provisions. Leaders explained that hurricane relief funding will continue to be provided through a series of supplemental funding measures. The next supplemental is expected to include provisions covering agriculture losses and likely will be considered the week of Oct. 17.
In addition, the Senate approved by voice vote HJ Res 68, a continuing appropriations measure to keep most of the government operating through Nov. 18.
|Country Risk Exclusion Needed|
In a letter to USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services J.B. Penn, the NCC, as a member of the Export Credits Working Group (ECWG), expressed thanks for the agency’s decision to return to the practice of excluding country risk as a factor in determining eligible destinations under regional GSM programs. The ECWG’s letter stated that this decision “will allow regional programs to continue to function as an important source of support for U.S. agricultural exports.”
The ECWG also asked USDA to consider making revisions and other administrative changes including the GSM fee structure’s high starting point, which would make the fee schedule for other countries increasingly uncompetitive.
The Working Group encouraged USDA to consider implementing, with all possible haste, administrative changes to enhance the efficiency and reduce program operation costs, including possible outsourcing of certain program administrative functions.
The letter also noted that “It is also important that our agricultural export related programs be utilized to the fullest extent possible as part of the U.S. effort to obtain a good agreement in the Doha round. The changes made by the USDA to our agricultural export credit programs as a result of the Brazil case will reduce the effectiveness of those programs.”
The ECWG, which also includes the American Cotton Shippers Assoc., is committed to making recommendations that will enhance opportunities to export US agricultural products.
|’06 Beltwide Info Sent Out|
Information booklets on the ’06 conferences slated for the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Jan. 3-6, were mailed to previous and potential Beltwide attendees. That information also is available at http://beltwide.cotton.org. Simultaneously, NCC members were sent a letter regarding early hotel reservations. Others will be able to make hotel reservations beginning Nov. 1.
The deadline for "The Beltwide Online Call for Papers" for the technical conferences and New Developments From Industry session has been extended to Monday, Oct. 3 at 5 pm CST due to Hurricane Katrina’s disruption. For more information about submitting papers, go to http://www.cotton.org/beltwide/papers/index.cfm.
For further information, contact the NCC’s Debbie Richter at (901) 274-9030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Mill Cotton Consumption Slips|
According to the Commerce Dept., August (4-week month) total cotton consumption in domestic mills was 227.4 million pounds for a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.08 million bales (480-lb). Last year’s August annualized rate was 6.44 million. The July (4-week month) estimate of domestic mill cotton use was raised by 2.8 million pounds to 223.6 million. The revised seasonally adjusted annualized rate of consumption for July is 6.46 million bales. This is lower than last year’s July annualized rate of 6.63 million.
The Commerce Dept.’s estimate of both upland and ELS consumption of cotton by US mills, when adjusted to represent the complete ’04-05 crop year, is 6.5 million bales. This level of mill use, when combined with USDA’s latest export number of 14.3 million bales, would imply ending stocks of 5.5 million bales for the ’04-05 crop year, which is in line with Commerce’s estimate of 5.5 million bales for stocks on hand as of July 31, ’05. However, this is lower than USDA’s August WASDE estimate of 5.75 million bales. USDA’s next supply and demand estimates are scheduled to be released on Oct. 12.
Preliminary September domestic mill use of cotton and revised August figures will be released by Commerce on Oct. 27.
|Sales, Shipments Stay Strong|
Net export sales for the week ending Sept. 22, ’05 were 255,900 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’05-06 sales to almost 6.4 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’04-05 marketing year were about 5.8 million bales. Total new crop (’06-07) sales are 133,500 bales.
Shipments for the week were 214,900 bales, bringing total exports to date to 2.0 million bales, compared with the 1.1 million bales at the comparable point in the ’04-05 marketing year.
|CBI Apparel Makers See US Textile Operations|
Leaders from 44 apparel manufacturing companies in 6 CaribbeanBasin region (CBI), 2 South American and 2 Asian countries with manufacturing operations in the CBI visited US textile operations to learn how to source US yarns and fabrics.
Cotton Council International (CCI), in cooperation with Cotton Incorporated, hosted the COTTON USA CBI & Andean Apparel Manufacturers Tour. The event involved participants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic as well as Colombia, Peru, Korea and Taiwan.
US textile mills hosting the CBI participants included: Alice Mills, Inc., Easley, SC.; American & Efird, Inc., Mount Holly, NC.; Ameritex Yarn, LLC, Burlington, NC.; Buhler Quality Yarns Corp., Jefferson, GA; Carolina Cotton Works, Inc., Gaffney, SC.; Cheraw Yarn Mills, Inc., Cheraw, SC.; Four Leaf Textiles, LLC, Shelby, NC.; Frontier Spinning Mills, Sanford, NC; National Textiles, LLC, Winston-Salem, NC.; Parkdale Mills, Inc., Gastonia, NC.; R.L. Stowe Mills, Inc., Belmont, NC.; Ramtex, Inc., Ramseur, NC.; Spectrum Dyed Yarns, Inc., Kings Mountain, NC; Swift Spinning Mills, Inc., Columbus, Ga.; Tuscarora Yarns, Inc., Gastonia, NC.; and Wellstone Mills, Greenville, SC.
The participants attended a seminar in Greensboro, GA, which focused on producing better knit fabrics and knit apparel, the outlook on US textile/apparel trade policy and how textile mills buy US cotton fiber. They then divided up for visits to the 16 US textile manufacturing operations in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
CCI President Gary Taylor, who presented the mill fiber buying report in the seminar, said, “With CAFTA now in place, it is imperative that the U.S. textile industry showcase its high quality yarn and fabrics to apparel manufacturers in this hemisphere. This tour offered an opportunity for US mills to meet one on one with many potential customers and grow their export business.”
|Prices Effective Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2005|