Cotton Exports and Export Subsidies

September 1, 1939

Report Outline
Scheduled International Cotton Conference
U. S. Cotton Exports and Export Markets
American Production and Price Controls
Subsidy Program and International Control
Special Focus

Exports of American cotton in the crop year ended last July 31 were the smallest in 60 years. The drastic drop in exports gave the United States on August 1, 1939, the largest cotton carryover on record. The 1939 carryover of 13,032,611 bales compared with a carryover of 11,533,000 bales in 1938 and an average carryover of 6,744,800 bales for the ten years 1929-1938. About 11,000,000 bales of the current carryover are held by the government, either outright or as collateral for government loans.

The decline of foreign purchases of American cotton led to the institution, July 27, 1939, of a cotton export subsidy, designed to retain for the United States foreign markets which are of vital importance to this country's cotton industry and to the whole economy of the South. In announcing the subsidy plan, Secretary of Agriculture Wallace voiced the hope that it would be of temporary duration. He indicated, however, that it could not be abandoned until an effective international cotton agreement had been reached, assuring each exporting country its fair share of the world market at reasonable prices.

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Scheduled International Cotton Conference

The United States had already invited the governments of 10 cotton-exporting countries to send representatives to a preliminary conference in Washington to explore the possibility of developing such an agreement. The conference, scheduled to begin September 5, is to study the current world cotton situation for the purpose of determining the advisability of calling a later conference of representatives of both cotton exporting and cotton importing nations to work out a specific plan for international collaboration in cotton production and trade.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Cotton and Textiles
Oct. 11, 1985  Textiles Push for Protectionism
May 13, 1953  Troubles of the Textile Industry
Sep. 10, 1945  Plight of Cotton
Jul. 09, 1943  Civilian Apparel
Sep. 01, 1939  Cotton Exports and Export Subsidies
Mar. 22, 1937  World Stabilization of the Textile Industry
Oct. 12, 1934  Cotton Exports and Crop Reduction
Jul. 15, 1929  Labor in the South
Oct. 24, 1927  The Cotton Situation in the United States
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Exports and Imports
Farm Produce and Commodities