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|Doha Negotiations Discussed with WTO Officials|
NCC Chairman Woods Eastland and American Cotton Producers Chairman John Pucheu met with World Trade Organization (WTO) officials in Geneva to discuss recent developments in the ongoing Doha Round of trade talks. Eastland and Pucheu were accompanied by NCC President/CEO Mark Lange. The group also met with members of the US Trade Representative delegation based in Geneva, including Ambassador Linnet Deily.
The NCC representatives reiterated that cotton must not be singled out for different treatment from the remainder of agriculture. The NCC also reminded WTO officials that the cotton subcommittee authorized in the Framework text is a monitoring body and not a vehicle for negotiations.
In their discussions with WTO officials, the NCC also reviewed its cooperative efforts with USDA and US-AID for the West African countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali. They discussed the details of this year’s training programs covering cotton classification, entomology, and soil conservation and fertility.
|W. African Officials to Get Orientation|
Cotton classing officials from 4 West African countries will begin a USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) cotton classification and standards orientation program on June 13 in Memphis.
Officials from Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali began their orientation this week by participating in the Cotton Incorporated EFS conference and as observers to the Universal Cotton Standards conference, both in Memphis. Following sessions covering HVI classification procedures, calibration standards and other USDA-AMS cotton program functions, the group will receive a NCC orientation as part of their wrap-up session on the group’s final day.
Next week’s training is being conducted at the USDA-AMS Memphis office.
The cotton classification orientation is the first of 3 training programs being conducted this summer for cotton officials of the 4 West African countries. The other training programs, being held at Auburn U. in cooperation with Tuskegee U., will cover entomology and soil conservation and fertility.
Co-sponsored by the NCC, these training programs were organized and funded in cooperation with the USDA Cochran Fellowship Program and US-AID.
|House Approves Ag Appropriations Bill|
The House approved the FY06 Agriculture Appropriations bill (408-18) after rejecting amendments to: cut funding for the Market Access Program; effectively reduce the sugar loan by 6%; and remove a provision from the bill delaying for 1 year the implementation of mandatory country-of-origin labeling of meat products.
The bill, which funds USDA, the Commodity Futures Trade Commission (CFTC) and the Food & Drug Administration, would provide $16.8 billion in discretionary funding, the same as in the current fiscal year.
Overall spending for agriculture is projected to be $100.3 billion, up 17% because of increases in mandatory spending for food stamps and commodity programs.The Senate Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee is scheduled to mark-up its FY06 spending bill June 21, and the full committee will take up the legislation on June 23.
|Leadership Class Visits DC|
The ’04-05 Cotton Leadership Class met key administration officials, Congressional members and staff during a 4-day visit to Washington, DC, highlighted by meetings at the White House, USDA, EPA and CFTC.
They also met with the staff directors of the House and the Senate Agriculture committees and with agriculture staff of class members' Representatives and Senators. The class started their session with presentations by specialists who document and analyze the make up of Congress and trends in legislative activities.
The goal was to provide class members with a better concept of how Congress and government agencies operate and how to more effectively present the industry’s views on regulatory and legislative proposals.
|NCC Offers CAFTA Support Testimony|
In testimony before a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, former NCC Chairman Robert McLendon said that US cotton decided to support the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) because it believes the trade pact will provide an opportunity for establishment of “a sustainable Western Hemisphere platform” for the conversion of US cotton into yarn, fabric and apparel that can compete with China.
He noted that the US currently exports more than 200,000 bales of raw cotton annually to that region and in ’04 US manufacturers exported yarn and fabric that contained 2.4 million bales of US cotton to the CAFTA countries – up 50% since ’01.
“Those value-added exports are expected to grow more rapidly if CAFTA is approved than would occur if we simply continue to rely on the Caribbean Basin Initiative legislation,” he testified. “CAFTA can be an important component of a trade policy to preserve $4 billion a year in textile exports and thousands of jobs that depend on those exports.”
The Leary, GA, producer said a CAFTA is needed that benefits US farmers, manufacturers and the CAFTA region – not third parties.
“If we provide preferential access to a product, then the components should be sourced in the U.S. and CAFTA,” he said. “The CAFTA we are supporting is not perfect in that respect, but we believe many of the imperfections will be corrected during implementation. With the leadership of the US Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce – combined with oversight by Congress, we believe it will serve our needs.”McLendon noted that the agreement does include a special textile safeguard mechanism, enhanced customs enforcement and elimination of duties as high as 18%.
|House Defeats Resolution to End WTO Membership|
The House overwhelmingly defeated (86-338) a resolution to end US membership in the World trade Organization (WTO). Provisions of the ’94 law that helped establish the WTO require Congress to review US membership in the WTO every 5 years. In ’00 the House rejected the resolution by a vote of 56–363.
During the floor debate, members expressed concern about loss of jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector and outsourcing of jobs overseas. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Thomas (R-CA) concluded that there are concerns about the WTO but argued that it would not make sense to leave an organization, which is the best example of nations “dealing economically in a meaningful and useful way…”
|NCWC Leaders Expand Cotton’s Classroom Outreach|
Twenty National Cotton Women’s Committee officers attended the Ag in the Classroom national conference in Indianapolis, IN.
The volunteers, who help carry out the NCC's Cotton Counts educational program, conducted 2 workshops for the more than 500 teachers attending from across the nation.The NCWC officers focused on increasing teachers’ awareness about the cotton industry and its impact on the nation's economy. That included distributing copies of "Cotton for Kids - The Adventures of 100% Happy Shirt" and "How Cotton Affects Your Life" as well as demonstrating creative ways to integrate cotton-focused lesson plans into existing curriculum requirements.
|’05-06 Export Level Would Be Record|
In its June report, USDA left its May estimate unchanged for ’05-06 US cotton production and mill use at 19.5 million bales and 5.8 million bales, respectively, but raised exports 500,000 bales to a record 15.0 million bales. As a result, projected total offtake was raised to 20.8 million bales. Ending stocks for ’05-06 are projected at 6.2 million bales, for an ending stocks-to-use ratio of 29.8%.
USDA gauged US ’04-05 cotton production at 23.25 million bales. Projected mill use was unchanged from the May report at 6.30 million bales, while exports were lowered 400,000 bales to 13.00 million. As a result projected total offtake was lowered to 19.30 million bales generating an ending stock value of 7.50 million bales. The estimated stocks-to-use ratio is 38.9%.
Based on recent revisions by the Census Bureau, USDA revised US mill use for the ’03-04 marketing year in its June report – a reduction of 268,000 bales to 6.22 million.
The June report raised ’04-05 world production estimates 290,000 bales to 119.61 million but lowered estimated world imports by 940,000 bales to 32.85 million. This results in a world supply of 156.95 million bales. Estimated world mill use was raised 80,000 bales to 108.06 million. The projected world ending stocks on July 31, ’05 is now pegged at 48.74 million bales. This has a corresponding stocks-to-use ratio of 45.1%.
For the ’05-06 marketing year, USDA projected world production of 106.19 million, down 810,000 bales from the May report. World mill use was raised 30,000 bales from the May report to a projected 111.53 million bales. Consequently, world ending stocks for ’05-06 are projected to be 44.05 million bales, for a stocks-to-use ratio of 39.5%.
|Shipments Strong, Sales Steady|
Net export sales for the week ending June 2 were 96,600 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’04-05 sales to almost 14.7 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’03-04 marketing year were about 14.0 million. Total new crop (’05-06) sales are 1.1 million bales.
Shipments for the week were 285,700 bales, bringing total exports to date to 10.7 million bales, compared with the 11.2 million at the comparable point in the ’03-04 marketing year.
|Prices Effective June 10-16, 2005|