Thursday, September 3, 2015

Agricultural Marketing Service Announces Reduction in Funds for Cotton Research and Promotion Program

The Agricultural Marketing Service ("AMS") in today's Federal Register (80 FR 53243) announced it is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purposes of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. This amendment is required each year to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton.

DATES: This direct rule is effective November 2, 2015, without further action or notice, unless significant adverse comment is received by October 5, 2015. If significant adverse comment is received, AMS will publish a timely withdrawal of the amendment in the Federal Register.


This direct final rule would amend the value assigned to imported cotton in the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations (7 CFR 1205.510(b)(2)) that is used to determine the Cotton Research and Promotion assessment on imported cotton and cotton products. The total value of assessment levied on cotton imports is the sum of two parts. The first part of the assessment is based on the weight of cotton imported--levied at a rate of $1 per bale of cotton, which is equivalent to 500 pounds, or $1 per 226.8 kilograms of cotton. The second part of the import assessment (referred to as the supplemental assessment) is based on the value of imported cotton lint or the cotton contained in imported cotton products--levied at a rate of five-tenths of one percent of the value of domestically produced cotton.

Under the Cotton Research and Promotion Program, assessments are used by the Cotton Board to finance research and promotion programs designed to increase consumer demand for Upland cotton in the United States and international markets. In 2013 (the last audited year), producer assessments totaled $36.9 million and importer assessments totaled $42.2 million. According to the Cotton Board, should the volume of cotton products imported into the U.S. remain at the same level in 2014, one could expect a decrease of assessments by approximately $2,442,758.

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