Cotton Council to fight Turkish anti-dumping penalties

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, April 18, 2016 -- The National Cotton Council is vowing to fight Turkey's decision to impose anti-dumping penalties on U.S. cotton imports.

Last week, the Turkish government imposed a 3 percent CIF (cost, insurance and freight) duty on all U.S. cotton fiber imports, effective immediately, based on assertions that U.S. cotton was dumped into Turkey - the second largest export market for U.S. cotton -- injuring the domestic fiber market.

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NCC Chairman Shane Stephens said the investigation, which was initiated in October 2014, was clearly in response to several U.S. trade investigations of Turkish steel imports. In a statement, Stephens said that the Turkish government, in an unusual move, self-initiated the investigation without any showing of the special circumstances as is required under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

“In the first place, the investigation itself lacked transparency regarding information used to justify the investigation,” Stephens said. “In fact, data used in support of a finding of injury to the Turkish domestic cotton market ignored established facts to the contrary.”

Stephens said that the Council submitted ample evidence showing that Turkey's cotton market has experienced price declines due to the same factors affecting cotton markets worldwide. He said, for example, government policies in developing countries and competition from manmade fibers have contributed to stagnant global demand, increased stocks and lower cotton prices.

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“Unfortunately, the import duties only compound the difficult economic climate facing U.S. cotton growers and merchandisers,” Stephens stated.  “The Council will continue to actively oppose the imposition of duties and is exploring ways to reverse the decision, such as WTO mechanisms and the Turkish judicial system.”

In a release, the NCC noted that Turkey buys between 1.5 and 2.0 million bales of U.S. cotton annually The duties automatically put U.S. cotton at a competitive disadvantage to cotton produced in other countries, thus seriously jeopardizing business with Turkish mills, NCC said.

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