Agri Pulse Quotes John Gilliland on New Cotton Program

John Gilliland, a consultant in the international trade practice at Akin Gump, has been quoted in the Agri Pulse article “New cotton program shakes up Southern agriculture.” The article reports that the new program, included in the recently enacted congressional budget agreement, will provide cotton growers with badly needed income support.

While some economists, according to the article, say the new program is likely to face new scrutiny from overseas, including Brazil, Gilliland, who advises the National Cotton Council, said the new provision will be much easier to defend at the World Trade Organization. For one thing, he said, the global cotton market and the U.S. role in determining production levels and prices have changed significantly in the past 16 years, with the United States and China having been overtaken by India as the leading producer of cotton.

The new cotton policy, Gilliland said, is also significantly different than the old mix of programs, in that the new Price Loss Coverage (PLC) reference price—a trigger of government payments to cover the share of a crop if it falls below a certain level—is based in part on the price of cottonseed to make it more difficult for Brazil or another country to argue that PLC payments would be distorting global production.