The World Trade Organization has scheduled a “high profile session” on cotton in Geneva on March 15 and 16 -- within two weeks of oral arguments in the Brazil-United States Cotton Compliance dispute. Jay Hardwick, chairman of the American Cotton Producers says the U.S. cotton industry is concerned that these actions at this time are trying to produce an even more inequitable Doha Round Agreement for U.S. cotton – one that unfairly targets U.S. cotton producers and the U.S. cotton program.
Woody Anderson, a Texas cotton producer, believes the discussions held within the WTO consistently ignore the dramatic change in world cotton and textile markets. Yet even more liberalization is demanded from the United States while extending more and more exemptions for most of the rest of the world.
The US has called for consultations with China under the auspices of the WTO on possible illegal subsidies on exports of Chinese manufactured products. According to Woods Eastland, CEO of Staplcotn, the Chinese currency valuation problem still remains and must also be addressed. But he says cotton prices cannot rebound to the levels desired by West African producers with market conditions as they exist today.