MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The U.S. cotton industry commends Congress and the Administration for reaching agreement today on a broad-based economic relief/stimulus package for individuals and businesses, including the agriculture sector.
National Cotton Council (NCC) Chairman Kent Fountain, a Georgia cotton ginner, said it was of utmost importance that the bill includes restored funding authority for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and dedicated funding for producers in response to the coronavirus so USDA can develop relief measures for all of agriculture in response to the economic losses and business disruption caused by COVID-19.
“We believe this is a good first step towards addressing the needs of the agricultural economy, but more funding authority will likely be needed once there is a better assessment of the full impacts of the current crisis,” Chairman Fountain added.
The NCC is assessing economic impacts and losses across the U.S. cotton industry and will work with USDA and Congressional leaders on recommended policy options to respond to these urgent needs being felt across the industry from producer to textile manufacturer. These overarching needs are outlined in a letter sent today from Chairman Fountain to USDA Secretary Perdue and Members of Congress.
The NCC joined with other agricultural organizations on letters recently sent to President Trump and Congressional leaders saying it was critical that any fiscal and economic response to help businesses survive the crisis match the scale and intensity of the steps being taken to end the pandemic. The letters emphasized that individuals and family-owned companies operate on their cash flow, and that cash flow has been severely disrupted – their costs are up and their revenue flows are down, if not entirely shut off.