USDA considers raising imported cotton value
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has proposed amendments in 2011 to its Cotton Board rules and regulations by increasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purpose of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program.
An amendment is required to adjust the supplemental assessment and ensure that assessments collected on imported raw cotton and the cotton content of imported cotton-containing products and assessments collected on domestically produced cotton are the same, AMS said.
The current assessment on imported cotton is 1.088 cents per kilogram. The proposed assessment is 1.2665 cents, an increase of 0.1785 cents per kilogram. AMS said this increase reflects the increase in the average weighted price of upland cotton received by U.S. farmers from January through December 2010.
'Should the volume of cotton products imported into the U.S. in 2011 remain at the same level as in 2009, one could expect the revised assessment rate to generate about an additional $6.67 million in revenue,' the agency said.
In addition, AMS proposes to update textile trade conversion factors used to determine the raw fiber equivalents of imported cotton-containing products and to expand the number of Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) statistical reporting numbers from the current 706 to 2,371 to assess all imported cotton and cotton-containing products.
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) regularly publishes textile trade data, which includes estimates of the amount of cotton contained in imported cotton products. The raw cotton equivalent is the estimated weight of the cotton fiber in the garment adjusted for waste that occurs in spinning, weaving, and cutting. To estimate raw cotton equivalents, ERS uses a set of cotton textile trade conversion factors.
In a 2010 report, ERS determined the current HTS codes used by AMS for research and promotion assessment purposes accounted for 89 percent of the total U.S. cotton product imports, leaving 11 percent (442 million kilograms) of imported cotton products unassessed. By expanding AMS’s list to include 2,371 HTS codes and using the current assessment rate of 1.088 cents per kilogram, the Cotton Research and Promotion Program could have collected about $4.81 million more in 2009.
AMS will receive comments regarding the proposed changes through July 5. For more details, access the Federal Register notice.