MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council says the United States must remain a participant in a vibrant North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because it has been and can continue to be a very positive trading platform for U.S. agriculture, including cotton and textiles.
NCC Chairman Ronnie Lee said the NAFTA trading partners of Canada and Mexico are significant markets for United States food and fiber exports. With purchases exceeding 1 million bales, Mexico has emerged as one of U.S. raw cotton’s top five export destinations, and NAFTA plays a critical role in North America’s highly integrated textile and apparel supply chain.
“With 95 percent of U.S. cotton exported in some form, we need positive and stable trading relationships with our international customers to maintain a healthy U.S. cotton sector,” said Lee, a Bronwood, Ga., cotton producer.
He stated that as the process of updating and renegotiating NAFTA proceeds, the U.S. cotton industry “urges the Administration to stay involved in this important trade agreement and not weaken current provisions. A strengthening of the textile rules of origin and a modernization of NAFTA can lead to an expansion of jobs and exports for our nation. This is a very sound way to grow our economy.”