The Nationwide Cotton Council actively weighs in on laws and laws affecting U.S. cotton business viability.
⬛ What about key legislative measures?
The Senate and Home agriculture committees have made local weather coverage a precedence (the Rising Local weather Options Act handed the Senate). These committees additionally will start to set the stage for the 2023 farm invoice by reviewing 2018 farm legislation to find out areas for enchancment.
Relating to provide chain challenges, the cotton business is happy with the upcoming passage of the Ocean Transport Reform Act that addresses points with ocean carriers, scarcity of containers, container delays and port congestion. The NCC additionally supported a number of regulatory treatments to the present trucking scarcity by asking the Biden Administration to: 1) permit drivers underneath the age of 21 to get a business driver’s license (CDL) and function on all state/federal roadways; 2) delay implementation of the Federal Motor Service Security Administration’s Entry Stage Driver Coaching necessities for not less than two years; and three) enhance the length of the Farm-Associated Restricted CDL program from 180 days to 270 days. The NCC additionally supported the DRIVE Secure pilot program that was enacted into legislation enabling certified 18-20-year-old CDL holders (with the best security, coaching and expertise) to drive in interstate commerce.
The cotton business was happy with the early 2021, Home-passed “Farm Workforce Modernization Act” that included earned authorized standing, H-2A enhancements and necessary E-Confirm provisions. Whereas the Senate has but to take any motion, we’re hopeful that Congress can go a workable agricultural labor invoice in 2022.
All through 2021, the NCC cosigned quite a few letters and performed Congressional outreach to protect tax coverage provisions vital to producers. Amongst dangerous adjustments which were averted up to now are: halving the property tax exemption, elimination of stepped-up foundation, limiting 1031 tax exchanges, limiting grantor trusts, onerous IRS reporting by banks and mark to market tax.
⬛ How about commerce and regulatory challenges?
Within the commerce area, the NCC monitored the progress of U.S. cotton exports underneath the China Part One settlement. As well as, the significance of commerce within the Western Hemisphere was emphasised, notably the preservation of the textile guidelines of origin within the CAFTA-DR settlement.
Quite a few regulatory points are being monitored together with the EPA/Corps of Engineers’ proposal to rewrite the Navigable Waters Safety Rule. The NCC has been in stakeholder periods and was to submit feedback on that proposal by Feb. 7 as a brand new rule in all probability might be finalized in 2022. The NCC is also working with EPA, USDA and Congress to protect quite a few plant safety merchandise, together with the present five-year dicamba label.
The NCC’s points monitoring and administration is boosted considerably by a well-funded Committee For the Development of Cotton (CAC). Trade members are urged to contribute to the CAC because the 2022 mid-term elections will convey 50+ new Congressional Members that we should construct relationships with and educate on key cotton points and priorities.
Gary Adams is president/CEO of the Nationwide Cotton Council of America.