MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council is pleased with the Senate’s confirmation (82-14) today of Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) – calling it an important step for promoting fair trade and export development.
NCC Chairman Ronnie Lee said, “Ambassador Lighthizer has extensive trade policy and trade negotiation experience with a career that includes work on Capitol Hill, at USTR and in private practice focused on trade policy and trade enforcement issues. The U.S. cotton industry looks forward to working closely with him on short-term trade and export objectives as well as some longer term initiatives that are vitally important to a healthy U.S. cotton industry.”
Lee, a Bronwood, Ga., cotton producer, said the NCC will emphasize to Ambassador Lighthizer that strong exports and fair trade are critical components to a viable U.S. cotton industry. Lee noted that three out of every four U.S. cotton bales are exported as cotton fiber, while a large percentage of the cotton processed in this nation ultimately is exported as cotton textile and apparel products.
Earlier this year, the NCC joined with more than 100 other agricultural and agribusiness organizations on a letter to Senators urging Lighthizer’s prompt confirmation.