MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council (NCC) will be working to ensure that final farm legislation will address the serious shortcomings of the Senate farm bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.
One of those major concerns involves the Economic Adjustment Assistance Program (EAAP). That program, which had been eliminated in the farm bill version voted out of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has three years of full funding restored in the Senate’s farm bill. While that is a step in the right direction, the NCC strongly believes that it is critically important to fully restore the funding for EAAP which continues to help U.S. textile manufacturers stay competitive.
The NCC appreciates the work of Senators Isakson (R-GA), Jones (D-AL), Tillis (R-NC), Burr (R-NC) and Graham (R-SC), as well as Senate Agriculture Committee members Boozman (R-AR), Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Perdue (R-GA) for fighting for EAAP restoration and other cotton priorities. Senators Isakson and Jones led a letter with 16 Senators that was sent to the Committee urging full funding of EAAP, and Senator Hyde-Smith introduced an amendment that would have fully restored the EAAP funding.
The NCC appreciates the efforts of all Cotton Belt Senators who worked throughout the Senate farm bill process to defend and improve policies important to the cotton industry.
The NCC thanks Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Roberts (R-KS) for his leadership in preserving the Agriculture Risk Coverage/Price Loss Coverage (ARC/PLC) programs and the marketing loan program, but the NCC is extremely concerned about a damaging amendment by Senator Grassley (R-IA) included in the Senate’s farm bill that will harm family farms across the country and make the farm law’s safety net less effective. That amendment tightens the restrictions on farm management contributions for commodity program eligibility.
The NCC believes the House’s version of the farm bill more fully addresses the policy needs of the U.S. cotton and textile industries, as well as commercially-viable family farming operations in general. The NCC, as U.S. cotton’s central organization, looks forward to working with its supporters in the House and Senate throughout the conference committee process to achieve the U.S. cotton industry’s policy priorities in the final legislation.
The Memphis-based NCC’s mission is ensuring the ability of those seven U.S. cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.