Members of the National Cotton Council met with World Trade Organization officials during a visit to Geneva Thursday and Friday to share concerns about the ongoing Doha Round of trade talks, the NCC said.

The NCC members, which included Woody Anderson, former NCC chairman; John Pucheu, chairman of the American Cotton Producers; Mark Lange, NCC president and chief executive officer; and John Maguire, NCC senior vice president, Washington Operations, also met with members of the office of the U.S. Trade Representative based in Geneva as well as West African officials.

During the sessions, the NCC representatives conveyed the U.S. cotton industry's support for a "balanced and comprehensive (Doha) agreement," but reiterated that "cotton must not be singled out for different treatment from the remainder of agriculture," the NCC said.

The NCC also said its members told WTO officials that the cotton subcommittee authorized in the framework text of the Doha agreement is a monitoring body and not a vehicle for negotiations.

In their meeting with the West African officials, the NCC representatives said they expressed their support for developmental programs that can improve farm income in many lesser developed countries.

But they warned that "continued calls for compensation from the U.S. and an 'early harvest' of the U.S. cotton program are unprecedented and would only serve to undermine U.S. support for the ongoing negotiations," the NCC said.

Source: Association Release