MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council (NCC) thanks the Trump Administration for its recognition of the impacts of China’s retaliatory tariffs and applauds the Administration’s plan to assist U.S. farmers and ranchers facing trade disruptions from these tariffs. This support comes at a crucial time for the U.S. cotton industry.
While the NCC encourages continued dialogue between the U.S. and China to resolve the trade tensions, the NCC emphasizes the importance of producer support to help partially mitigate the impacts of these tariffs on U.S. cotton and additional funds for export promotion as the industry looks to expand markets for U.S. cotton.
The plan includes three components to assist farmers and ranchers: a Market Facilitation Program, a Food Purchase & Distribution Program, and a Trade Promotion Program.
The Market Facilitation Program will provide $0.06/lb on at least half of a producer’s 2018 cotton production (upland and ELS). The payment rate on the second half of 2018 production will be determined later and may remain at the same payment level. Once harvest is complete, production evidence must be provided to the local USDA Farm Service Agency office before payments will be made. The Market Facilitation payments are subject to the existing $900,000 adjusted gross income means test and a separate $125,000 per person payment limit for the eligible crops.
NCC Chairman Ron Craft, a Plains, Texas, ginner, stated, “The National Cotton Council strongly commends Secretary Perdue and his team at USDA for their ongoing efforts to help U.S. agriculture manage through the current trade disruptions as the Administration seeks to address unfair trade practices and barriers. The tariff mitigation program announced today will help address a portion of the losses cotton producers are facing in the marketplace. However, there is continued economic stress on producers in areas of the Cotton Belt that have lost production this year due to severe drought. In addition, cotton and cottonseed industry participants throughout the marketing channels are also feeling the impacts of the retaliatory tariffs.”
The other commodities eligible for the program include soybeans ($1.65/bu), sorghum ($0.86/bu), wheat ($0.14/bu), corn ($0.01/bu), dairy ($0.12/cwt) and pork ($8/head).
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.