WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. cotton industry restated its strong support of the new farm law and opposition to any efforts that would alter the law’s structure before it is implemented.
National Cotton Council Chairman Kenneth Hood, speaking at a news conference here hosted by the Commodity Roundtable, said, "we believe the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 is sound legislation. The measure will provide an effective safety net for production agriculture and provide benefit delivery mechanisms and levels of support that are consistent with World Trade Organization commitments."
Noting that the European Union, Canada and Japan each outspends the U.S. on farm support, Hood restated the NCC’s belief that the new farm law will allow the Administration to enter the next WTO negotiations from a position of strength.
The Gunnison, MS, producer said the farm law also will provide meaningful support for conservation programs and strikes a balance between budget restraint and commercial agriculture operations’ needs by moderating counterproductive payment limits.
"As President Bush and many Presidents before him have noted, U.S. farm policy is a national security and economic policy," Hood said. "It is dedicated to strengthening a sector of the U.S. economy that provides the country with the safest and most affordable food and fiber supply in the world, while creating 25 million jobs, producing $3.5 trillion dollars in output and accounting for 15 percent of the gross domestic product."
Concerning efforts by some in Congress to amend the new law during consideration of agriculture appropriations measures, Hood said, "with passage of the law, many growers finally obtained financing after a long legislative process. They based their planting decisions on the provisions of the law. These are long-term decisions and plans that can't be altered in the short-term. Furthermore, the law calls for the establishment of a commission to review the issue of payment limits. The commission should be allowed to do its work and make its recommendations."