The National Cotton Council has responded to requests by the US Trade Representative for a list of market access priorities. As follow up to a meeting in January, the NCC advised U.S. Chief Agricultural Trade Negotiator/Ambassador Dick Crowder that first and foremost the United States should not improve its offer first tabled in 2005 until other countries agree to meet the U.S. offer on market access.

The letter basically reiterated a statement made by 11 agricultural organizations, including NCC, in correspondence last July which stated ….. “Should the United States agree to reduce agricultural subsidies consistent with its last offer, there must be a corresponding increase in market access worldwide,” or our organizations will not be able to recommend approval by Congress.

The NCC letter also re-stated earlier communications by NCC that “a successful Doha Round (for cotton) must include significant increases in market access to China.” The access should be not less than 16 million bales annually, said NCC, and should be administered in a way that provides uninterrupted access for all potential buyers regardless of mill ownership or the end-market for products manufactured at the facility.

NCC says China has administered its current access program in a restrictive manner by apportioning quotas to mills based on ownership, end-use and time of year. At the same time, China's textile and apparel exports to the United States continue to grow significantly.

The NCC also expressed continued support for a sectoral agreement covering textiles which would address “tariff equalization and maintain safeguard provisions.”