The National Cotton Council (NCC), in a statement released February 20, says the new Stacked Income Protection Plan for cotton included in the new U.S. farm bill brings the United States into compliance with the 2008 World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body decision and resolves the long-standing dispute with Brazil.
The statement was made in response to Brazil’s decision to request a panel at the WTO to assess elements of the new legislation.
“The farm bill makes several changes to cotton policy and the GSM 102 export credit program, said NCC Chairman Wally Darneille. “These changes are significant, and we believe the matter is resolved.
“We are encouraged by statements by Brazilian officials which indicate a preference to resolve the case through continued discussions rather than retaliation,” he added. “We encourage U.S. officials to continue to engage with their Brazilian counterparts to reach a resolution to the case.”
Brazil’s latest action follows its government’s December threat to consider retaliation against U.S. exports in spite of consistent and extensive efforts by the U.S. industry to resolve the longstanding trade dispute.
The NCC responded that the U.S. cotton industry had consistently demonstrated good faith efforts to resolve this case, including outreach to Brazilian growers. According to the NCC statement, the organization urged Congress to terminate a program provision in 2006 and, subsequently in 2011, to support comprehensive reform of cotton policy as part of new farm law. When compared to current programs, cotton will be the only program crop in the new farm bill to either eliminate or reduce the price-triggered support levels.
In addition, as part of a Framework Agreement, the U.S. government has transferred nearly $500 million to the Brazil Cotton Institute for use in improving the Brazilian cotton industry.
Source – National Cotton Council