Plight of Cotton

September 10, 1945

Report Outline
Bad Postwar Outlook for American Cotton
Weakened Position of American Cotton
Rescue Plans for the Cotton Economy
Stabilization of World Cotton Production
Special Focus

Bad Postwar Outlook for American Cotton

The Outlook for the cotton-growing industry, with the return of peace, is less promising than that for any other important division of the American economy. The competitive position of American cotton, both at home and abroad, has deteriorated almost continuously since the close of World War I. Cotton loans, grants and export subsidies during the last dozen years have sustained the income of cotton farmers—at heavy cost to the Treasury—but have done nothing to correct basic maladjustments. In combination, the various measures to assist the growers have operated to maintain cotton prices at levels which make it impossible to market American cotton abroad without continuing, and probably increasing, assistance from the federal government.

With cotton stocks at record levels, both at home and abroad, the American cotton grower faces the grim prospect of expanded production and reduced consumption of cotton in foreign lands, and ever-increasing competition from synthetic fibers. A subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture is at present investigating postwar problems of the cotton-growing industry. At the opening of its hearings last Dec. 4, the committee was given the following summary of the cotton situation by its chairman, Rep. Pace (D., Ga.):

First, it now appears that the war will come to an end with about a 12-million bale surplus of American cotton on hand. This is nearly three times a normal surplus. There will probably be a surplus of foreign-grown cotton equally as large. While …many war-torn countries will be in distressing need of cotton and cotton goods, few of them are likely to have the money or the credit for buying it….

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
Farm Loans, Insurance, and Subsidies
Farm Produce and Commodities