There are many serious challenges ahead for the cotton industry, John Maguire told attendees at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Jan 8-11, in Nashville, Tenn. Some of these challenges are beyond NCC's control, the senior vice president of Washington operations for the National Cotton Council of America confided. At the same time, he added, the NCC is working hard to make sure the best possible legislative outcomes prevail in these challenges.
"You can be certain the Council's leaders will continue to work with Congress to urge prompt passage of legislation that provides you with the opportunity to compete in world markets, preserves infrastructure and ensures you will be able to continue to make an important contribution to the economy," Maguire told cotton producers and other industry leaders in Nashville.
In addition to maintaining our presence in Washington, Council leaders will also continue to monitor developments in Geneva where there will be important decisions that affect our future, Maguire, added.
"These include the conclusion of the Brazil case in the Doha Round of negotiations. Council members remain in almost constant communication with USDA and USTR officials to provide input on these important matters."
Maguire listed some of the top challenges, both in 2008 and for the longer term. His list included:
• The economy
• The elections… and resulting changes
• China impact (and India's increasing influence) on world commodity markets
• Value of the U.S. dollar
• Implementation of a new farm law
• Rising input costs
• Renewable fuels competition for acres and its impact on infrastructure and rural economies
• Resolution of the Brazil cotton case
• Progress in the Doha Round
• Canada's World Trade Organization challenge to all U.S. programs
Maguire pointed out that when new farm legislation is enacted the NCC will "be actively involved in the development of the new regulations necessary to implement the legislation."