The National Cotton Council (NCC) conveyed its appreciation to the Trump dministration for instituting a second round of trade mitigation payments for U.S. farmers.
NCC Chairman Mike Tate said this round of assistance, like the first one initiated in 2018, will help partially mitigate the impacts of retaliatory tariffs being placed on U.S. raw cotton to China.
“This assistance program also continues the provision of funds for export promotion which the U.S. cotton industry needs to expand markets for our raw fiber,” Tate said.
The Alabama cotton producer, who participated in USDA’s announcement event, noted that this second round of assistance is timely as many producers across the Cotton Belt are still feeling the impact from severe weather-related events in 2018.
“While our industry is very thankful for this assistance, we strongly encourage the administration to engage in constructive dialogue with China to address unfair trade practices and barriers,” Tate said. “China traditionally has been U.S. cotton’s top export destination. Resolution of the current trade tensions remains our top priority.”
Recently, the NCC had conveyed to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue several modifications designed to enhance the effectiveness of the trade assistance package.
The NCC also urged USDA to (1) assist the participants in the cotton merchandizing and distribution channels to offset the higher costs associated with shipping cotton to alternative markets and (2) recognize the significant impacts on the cottonseed segment and their product markets.
“The economic impacts extend beyond the farm gate and we will continue to work with the Administration to find avenues for further assistance,” added Tate.
The Memphis-based NCC’s mission is ensuring the ability of the U.S. cotton industry’s seven segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.