Cotton Industry Urging Action on China Trade

LUBBOCK,August 8, 2003                 By Shawn Wade

      Oneof the key components of the 2001 China World Trade Organization accessionagreement was a safeguard designed to protect U.S. manufacturers from a rapidand disruptive increase in imported goods.

      Sincethe agreement was signed the U.S. textile and apparel industry has seen justhow devastating a sudden increase in imported goods can be.

      Since2001 Chinese textile and apparel imports have doubled, primarily in productcategories that have already been released from quotas, and the U.S. textileand apparel industry has been the primary victim. With all U.S. quotasscheduled for elimination in 2005 the situation will only accelerate if nothingis done.

      Fortunately,the rules governing the implementation of the safeguard provisions included inthe China WTO accession agreement have been finished and corrective action canbe taken. The only hurdle that remains is for the U.S. to find the resolveneeded to enforce the rules both sides agreed on.

      Itis critically important that additional contact be made with Congress and theAdministration to encourage them to do the right thing, take the stepsnecessary to fully implement the safeguards agreed to in the China WTO accessionagreement, and to take additional action to prevent future occurrences.

      TheAmerican Textile Manufacturers Association is working to gather support fromallied industry and members of Congress to request that the Bush Administrationtake the following steps to prevent further damage to the U.S. textile andapparel industry:

1) Immediately implement the China Textile safeguardprovision. This would send a clear message that the U.S. will not allowChina to unfairly gain control of the U.S. textile market through currencymanipulation and a highly subsidized, state-owned textile sector.

2) Reject any tariff preference levels or otherexceptions in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and other freetrade agreements.

3) Maintain U.S. textile tariffs in the Doha Round oftrade talks and reject the current proposal for zero duties on textile tariffs.

      Anyand all contact with the Administration and Congress will help reinforce thismessage and demonstrate that strong support for taking these actions currentlyexists.

      Anyoneinterested in the issue is encouraged to contact their representatives in theHouse and Senate, as well as the Bush Administration, and voice support for theimmediate implementation of the China safeguard provisions.

      PCGhas already made contact with the offices of Senators John Cornyn and KayBailey Hutchison as well as House members Mac Thornberry, Charlie Stenholm, andRandy Neugebauer to voice support for the effort. PCG is encouraging each ofthe members to sign onto a letter to President George W. Bush on the issue aswell.

 

Stenholm / Neugebauer Talk Ag Issues

LUBBOCK,August 8, 2003                 By Shawn Wade

      U.S.Congressmen Charles Stenholm and Randy Neugebauer made the rounds in LubbockAugust 7 discussing agriculture issues and touching base with commodity groupsfrom across the High Plains/Panhandle region.

      Stenholm,meeting with the Lubbock Chamber of CommerceŐs Agriculture Committee, visitedthe area and touched on a number of important issues working their way throughCongress and also offered his thoughts on the nagging issues of U.S. tradepolicy and the simmering Texas Congressional redistricting issue.

      Stenholmdelivered his usual frank assessment of the issues and made it clear thatwhatever happens he intends to continue to work to serve the residents of ruralWest Texas in whatever district he is drawn into. He made it equally clear thatthe best thing for rural Texas was to leave district lines as they are now.

      NineteenthDistrict Representative Randy Neugebauer, met with representatives from PlainsCotton Growers, Rolling Plains Cotton Growers, Texas Wheat Producers, NationalGrain Sorghum Producers, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, Texas Cattle Feedersand the Texas Peanut Producers Board for a roundtable discussion designed tofurther his knowledge of the different commodities and their issues ofinterest.

      The meeting was hosted by Plains Cotton Growers and held at the organizationŐsLubbock office.

      Neugebauerbriefed the group on his activities in Washington since winning the May SpecialElection and updated them on some of the key issues that Congress is focusingon in the coming months.

      Whilea broad range of issues were discussed at the meeting, there was a common themeexpressed throughout Đ make sure that the provisions of the current farm laware not only protected, but also defended when they come under attack at homeor abroad.

      Oneof the threads that spun off of the Farm Bill discussion was the need toprotect the interests of U.S. Agriculture and its allied processing andmanufacturing industries when new trade deals are negotiated.

      Thechallenge for agriculture is to find some way to shift the culture of the U.S.Trade Representatives office from one that places a higher value on getting anydeal, to one that stands firm in its commitment to developing good tradeagreements that open the doors of international trade in a fair and equitablemanner.

      Thegroup was united in the position that meaningful change in this area would alsomean reinforcing the importance of protecting U.S. farmers and manufacturersagainst the predatory actions of those that fail to abide by the agreementsthey sign.

      BothNeugebauer and Stenholm reiterated their desire to protect and defend theprovisions of the new Farm Bill and to work hard to provide the oversight oftrade negotiations that impact agriculture through their positions on the HouseAgriculture Committee.

 

DonŐt Forget:

Plains GinnersŐ Association Annual Meeting

      Membersof the Plains Ginners Association will meet Monday, August 18 at LakeridgeCountry Club for the organizationŐs 2002 Annual Meeting.

      ThePGA program will begin at 9:00 a.m. and include a Keynote address by the newlyelected 19th District Congressman Randy Neugebauer.

      Alsoincluded on the agenda are an update on the congressional redistrictingsituation from Texas legislators and reports from representatives of theNational Cotton Council; Cotton Incorporated; Cotton Board; and, Plains CottonGrowers, Inc.

      Additionalreports will be provided by the National Cotton GinnersŐ Association, TexasCotton GinnersŐ Association, and, Texas Independent GinnersŐ Association.

      Followingthe program and luncheon a scholarship golf tournament, starting at 1:15 p.m.,will be held. The proceeds will benefit the PGA scholarship programs at TexasTech University and Texas A&M University.

      Thoseinterested in participating in the golf tournament should contact TrentLeaverette at 806-723-5103 for time, location and entry information. All golfentries should be returned by fax to 806-744-1235 to ensure they are includedin the field.

 

2002-2003 Average Price Received By Growers Updated Through June

      Producerstracking the development of the 2002-2003 crop Counter-cyclicalpayment rate are close to the end of the process as just one more monthŐs dataremains to be calculated before announcement of the final 2002 CC payment rate.

      The CC payment rate is calculatedusing the weighted average price received by farmers for the applicable Uplandcotton marketing year that begins August 1 and runs through July 31 of thefollowing calendar year.

      The following table shows theaverage price received each month by farmers and the associated weightedaverage price based on cumulative marketings through each month.

 

AveragePrice Received Through June

For 2002-03 Upland Cotton

(Weighted by Marketings)

 

Marketings

Prices

 

(000's of Running bales)

(cents/Lb.)

 

Monthly

Cum.

Monthly

Weighted

August 2002

354

354

33.00

33.00

September 2002

412

766

35.20

34.18

October 2002

749

1,515

39.00

36.56

November 2002

1,417

2,932

41.90

39.14

December 2002

2,380

5,312

42.10

40.47

January 2003

1,980

7,292

44.00

41.43

February 2003

1,374

8,666

45.20

42.03

March 2003

795

9,461

47.30

42.47

April 2003

592

10,053

45.00

42.62

May 2003

552

10,605

45.60

42.77

June 2003

424

11,029

45.30

42.87

July 2003

N/A

N/A

46.90

N/A

Source:National Agricultural Statistics Service