MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A National Cotton Council (NCC) leadership delegation visited China from June 27–July 1 to share information with the Chinese cotton/textile industries and update them on the U.S. cotton industry.
Coordinated by the NCC’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International (CCI), the visit was the seventh U.S. cotton industry delegation to China since the establishment of the U.S.-China Cotton Leadership Exchange Program by the NCC and the China Cotton Association (CCA) in 2006. This ongoing exchange was initiated by a Memorandum of Understanding signed that year promising cooperation between the two countries’ cotton industries.
In Beijing, delegation members heard presentations from the CCA, the China Cotton Textile Association (CCTA) and the China National Textile and Apparel Council regarding current challenges facing the cotton market. The session with CCTA concluded with an agreement between the NCC and CCTA to foster enhanced communication between the two parties. With a focus on quality, the two groups will explore opportunities to jointly promote both U.S. raw cotton and U.S.-manufactured yarn, as well as Chinese cotton, in an effort to combat the growing competition from synthetic fibers.
Later, in Hubei Province, the U.S. delegation met with the Hubei Provincial Cotton Association and visited the Hubei Yinfeng Logistic Park. The group toured Xiantao’s cotton fields and Xiaogan’s textile mill. In Shanghai, they toured CCI’s office, met with Zhangjiagang Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and toured its cotton laboratory. The group also visited the Zhangjiagang bonded cotton warehouse and Zhangjiagang Zhongrong Logistics Company, a bonded port warehouse.
The NCC delegation was led by NCC Chairman Shane Stephens, a warehouseman who serves as vice president of Cotton Services and Warehouse Division for Staplcotn Cooperative Association in Greenwood, Miss.
“We were pleased to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the Chinese cotton industry, which traditionally has been a strong importer of U.S. raw cotton,” Stephens said. “I believe this mutual exchange of information solidified our relationship with this important consumer of U.S. cotton and provided an opportunity to demonstrate the U.S. cotton industry’s continued commitment to meeting the needs of our customers.”
Other delegation members included William Barksdale, who is managing director of Cargill Cotton in Cordova, Tenn.; Plains Cotton Cooperative Association President and CEO Kevin Brinkley of Lubbock, Texas; National Cotton Ginners Association First Vice President David Blakemore of Campbell, Mo; and four cotton producers: B.E. “Sonny” Davis, Jr., Cottondale, Fla.; Patrick L. Johnson, Jr., Tunica, Miss.; Doyle K. Schniers, San Angelo, Texas; and Gregory C. Wuertz, Casa Grande, Ariz.