Congress Ends Cotton Subsidy

Congress has ended the subsidy on cotton following a WTO ruling that they were illegal.

The US Congress has approved the scrapping of major subsidies to the cotton industry, in a move that could help producers in the developing world. The administration agreed in December to implement a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling against the subsidies, but it needed congressional authorisation.

Brazil, which brought the case, said government help for American cotton farmers distorted the global market. The subsidies included incentives to buy cotton from domestic farmers. Aid agencies said the system was particularly damaging to cotton-producing nations in West Africa which, they say, did not get a fair price for their crops.

I’m with Steven Taylor on this one: Let’s end all the agricultural subsidies. Not only do they undermine our longstanding leadership on globalization and contribute to poverty in the developing world but they harm American consumers, too. That’s an awful lot of harm to subsidize an incredibly strong agribusiness sector that would continue to thrive in open competition.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Economics and Business,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Yes, but that darn public choice analysis of concentrated benefits and distributed costs gets in the way of sensible policy.