Tillis and Warner lead bipartisan push for cotton and textile assistance in next COVID-19 package

Published On: July 15, 2020

U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) recently led a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urging the next round of COVID-19 assistance adequately address losses felt throughout the cotton supply chain by cotton farmers, textile mills and the cotton merchandising segment, according to a July 14 press release from National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO).

“Across the agricultural sectors, the U.S. cotton and textile industry is particularly hard hit as the COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented demand destruction for cotton apparel and textiles,” wrote the Senators. “Billions of dollars of orders have been cancelled as retail shopping outlets remain closed or operate at reduced capacity. The collapse in cotton demand is being felt across the U.S. cotton industry from textile manufacturers to merchandisers to cotton producers, and all segments in between. The viability of the farms and businesses, and the jobs they represent, are at risk of not surviving this crisis.

“When Congress considers additional relief efforts in response to COVID-19, we believe any package should ensure USDA’s next round of agricultural assistance will adequately address the magnitude of the losses felt throughout the cotton supply chain by cotton farmers and include critical relief for textile mills and the cotton merchandising segment, all of which are facing unprecedented economic losses,” the Senators continued. “We want to work closely with you and our other colleagues to ensure adequate relief for the U.S. cotton industry so that this critical industry receives the necessary assistance for all segments to survive and recover.”

Joining Senators Tillis and Warner were Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Richard Burr (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Boozman (R-AR), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

The full text of the letter is available here or below.