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|Textile Import Verification Sought|
The NCC submitted letters to James Leonard, chairman of the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), and to David Spooner, chief textile negotiator for USTR, regarding recent data showing surging imports from China during January.
The NCC drew attention to a notice dated Dec. 9, ’04, where the Commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection was instructed that “all shipments exported in 2004 that exceed the applicable 2004 agreed quota limit from WTO Members and from countries with bilateral textile agreements expiring on December 31 that are not WTO Members, entry will not be permitted until February 1, 2005. From February 1 through February 28, 2005, entry will be permitted to goods in an amount equal to 5 percent of the applicable 2004 base quota limit. For each succeeding month, beginning on the first day of the month and extending through the last day of the month, entry will be permitted to goods in an amount equal to 5 percent of the applicable base 2004 quota limit, until all shipments in excess of the quota limits have been entered.”
The NCC requested that the US Customs verify that products imported into the US from China in January were shipped on or after Jan. 1, ’05.
|Appeals Court Defers Injunction Request|
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has deferred the US government’s motion for a stay of the preliminary injunction issued by the Court of International Trade, which enjoined the government from further consideration of industry requests for the implementation of threat-based China textile safeguards.
In its order, the Count stated, “We note that the case was expedited for oral argument in May and that the merits panel will soon be assigned. Thus, we deem it the better course to defer the motion to the merits panel.”
NCC Chairman Woods Eastland said, “It is now more important than ever for the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements to self-initiate China textile safeguards based on actual market disruption which is evidenced by January export data reported by China and US import data reported by our own government.”
Self-initiation by CITA would enable the government to move more quickly, possibly allowing safeguards to be imposed within 5 weeks. The industry is studying market disruption cases based on the latest data.
Meanwhile, China reportedly has asked for talks with the US government and the European Commission (EU), as Chinese textile exports continue to flood both the US and EU markets. The EU recently denied 12 petitions filed by Eurotex, citing the need for more data. News media reports indicate that Chinese officials want to dissuade the imposition of safeguards on the grounds that the high level of January exports to the US and EU markets were a natural result of the lifting of quotas and that the situation will soon stabilize.
NCC President Mark Lange said, “If the past is any indication of what we can expect in the weeks ahead, the situation will stabilize with China holding 75 percent or more of our textile and apparel market.”
|Shipments Stay Strong, Sales Steady|
Net export sales for the week ending March 17 were 180,700 bales (480-lb.). This brings total ’04-05 sales to slightly more than 11.7 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’03-04 marketing year were about 12.4 million. Total new crop (’05-06) sales are 616,800 bales.
Shipments for the week were 392,100 bales, bringing total exports to date to 7.0 million bales, compared with the 7.4 million at the comparable point in the ’03-04 marketing year.
|Import Monitoring Initiated|
The Commerce Dept. announced the initiation of a new system to monitor textile and apparel products imports - allowing more timely access to preliminary textile and apparel data from US Customs and Border Protection.
Currently, official textile and apparel import data is released approximately 6 weeks after the end of the referenced month. The preliminary data will be posted every other week on the Office of Textiles and Apparel website (http://otexa.ita.doc.gov).
Commerce anticipates the new system will be in place by the first week of April. At this time, preliminary data on textile and apparel imports for the first quarter of the year should be available. This new system will allow for early monitoring of textile and apparel imports from China, which have showed massive increases since the removal of quotas as of Jan. 1, ’05.
|Panel Discusses Development Assistance|
The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) special Cotton Subcommittee, during its meeting in Geneva, heard reports on development issues from the International Monetary Fund, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the European Union and the WTO director of Special Duties Division.
The subcommittee discussed the role of development assistance while agricultural negotiations continue on reducing trade distorting support. The panel also approved its program of work that is consistent with the Aug. ’04 framework.
Ambassador Groser, chairman of both the WTO Agriculture Committee and the special Cotton Subcommittee, noted that the WTO’s role is to create opportunities not trade outcomes. He also observed that African proponents are not asking for preferences but assistance in using the system.
|Cotton Mill Use Steady|
According to the Commerce Dept., February (4-week month) total cotton consumption in domestic mills was 235.0 million pounds for a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.16 million 480-pound bales. Last year’s February annualized rate was 6.22 million bales.
The January (4-week month) estimate of domestic mill use of cotton was raised by 7.1 million pounds to 234.0 million. The revised seasonally adjusted annualized rate of consumption for January is 6.29 million 480-pound bales. This is lower than last year’s January annualized rate of 6.46 million bales.
Based on Commerce estimates from Aug. 1, ’04, through Feb. 26, ’05, projected total pounds consumed during crop year ’04-05 would be 3.0 billion pounds or 6.27 million (480-lb) bales. USDA’s latest estimate of ’04-05 crop year mill use is 6.3 million bales. Preliminary March domestic mill use of cotton and revised February figures will be released by Commerce on April 28, ’05.
|CCI Submits Funding Request to USDA|
CCI submitted a $21.4 million public funding request to USDA to support COTTON USA programs during FY05-06.
Via the ’05 Unified Export Strategy, CCI requested $17.0 million in Market Access Program funding, $4.2 million in Foreign Market Development program funding and $200,000 in Emerging Markets Program funds. CCI also requested that USDA allocate $2.4 billion in GSM-102, Supplier Credit and Facilities Credit guarantees.
US industry matching contributions to the COTTON USA program continue to be the most heavily weighted criterion used by FAS in deciding allocation levels for these programs. CCI anticipates receiving notification of funding allocations from USDA in June ’05.
|Greenhouse Gas Guidelines Issued|
USDA provided the US Department of Energy (DOE) with long awaited new accounting rules and guidelines for reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon sequestration in the forest and agriculture sectors. DOE also has issued interim final General Guidelines for GHG reporting as part of the DOE Section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Reporting Registry, which will incorporate the USDA guidelines. These actions are in response to a Feb. ’02 directive from the president as part of the government GHG policy.
"Agriculture has a unique opportunity to be part of the solution to greenhouse gas emissions," said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. "The Bush administration is committed to addressing greenhouse gas emissions and these guidelines represent another significant milestone in the national effort to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the U.S. economy."
The revised voluntary reporting program provides agriculture and forest landowners with the ability to quantify and maintain records of actions that have GHG reduction benefits. These actions include using no-till agriculture, improving nutrient management, and managing forestland. Cotton is one of the leading US crops in adoption of conservation tillage and nutrient management practices. Also, because cotton is cellulose, like wood, it also sequesters carbon. However, research is needed to quantify how long cotton products keep carbon sequestered. NCC staff has worked with USDA on the GHG issue, and there may be opportunities for crops like cotton, particularly if there are government incentive programs.
The new forest and agriculture guidelines will be published in the Federal Register for a 60-day public comment period and are expected to become effective 180 days from publication.
Two public workshops are planned to discuss these guidelines’ revisions, including one on May 5 that will focus on those issues raised by the agricultural and forestry sections of the guidelines. More information on these workshops and on the guidelines will be available at: www.usda.gov/oce/gcpo/greenhousegasreporting.htm and www.pi.energy.gov/enhancingGHGregistry/.
|NCC Comments on Flammability Standard|
The NCC submitted comments in response to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) (70 FR 2570; 1/13/05) on the Standard for the Flammability (Open Flame) of Mattresses and Mattress/Foundation Sets and Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) (70 FR 2514; 1/13/05) on the Standard to Address Open Flame Ignition of Bedclothes.
Cotton’s share of the US bedclothes market is about 1.68 million bales, including 900,000 bales of domestic cotton. Cotton’s share of the US mattress and box spring market is about 65,000 bales of domestic cotton.
In its comments to the CPSC, NCC discussed its concern that the proposed mattress regulation, based in part on economics, might result in CPSC inappropriately regulating bedclothes and that CPSC should not regulate mattresses indirectly by regulating bedclothes. NCC asked that CPSC work closely in an open and transparent way with California in the development of any standard to address the flammability of bedclothes, and pointed out to CPSC that inconsistent state regulations would: 1) be extremely disruptive to interstate commerce and 2) cause an enormous burden on the US textile industry. NCC said that without strong enforcement throughout the chain, an effective and meaningful regulation is not possible.
The NCC said CPSC should limit the bedclothes considered for possible regulation and that sheets and pillowcases should not be part of any mandatory flammability regulation that CPSC develops for bedclothes.
In addition, CPSC was asked to thoroughly review the toxicity of any chemicals expected to be used to meet its performance standard for bedclothes, so that the textile industry is not faced with another “tris” situation (cancer causing substance that was used on synthetic fiber to meet the children’s sleepwear standard, which affected the entire sleepwear market).
|Prices Effective March 15-31, 2005|