MEMPHIS – The National Cotton Council of America looks forward to working again with U.S. Agriculture Secretary appointee Tom Vilsack on matters ranging from sustainable, climate smart agriculture to international trade opportunities and the farm safety net.
NCC Chairman Kent Fountain, a Georgia cotton producer and ginner, said, “The U.S. cotton industry believes that Tom Vilsack has the credentials necessary to help restore the economic health of our nation’s rural sector that has suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also are optimistic he will work to ensure that Sunbelt farmers’ needs are fairly considered in USDA policy decisions.”
“Many members of the cotton industry had the opportunity to work closely with Secretary Vilsack during his previous tenure and found he was open-minded and solution-oriented,” Fountain said. He noted that during his previous eight years as agriculture secretary, Vilsack also proved himself “to be a very capable leader and a champion of American agriculture and this nation’s farmers.”
The NCC is also optimistic about working with Katherine Tai, an attorney with the House Ways and Means Committee who incoming President Biden has nominated to be U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for his administration. Tai is the former chief counsel on China trade enforcement at the Office of USTR during the Obama administration. The cotton and textile industries are acutely focused on the importance of fair and reciprocal trading relationships that offer opportunities for the cotton industry to expand exports of cotton fiber, yarn and fabrics.
As the central organization for the U.S. cotton industry, the Memphis-based NCC serves as the unifying force in working with policymakers to ensure cotton’s interests are heard. The NCC’s mission is ensuring the industry’s seven segments’ ability to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.