Finding the moral fiber: Why reform is urgently needed for a fair cotton trade

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Washington, D.C.: Oxfam International

US subsidies have led to depressed world cotton prices, which in turn have cost countries in Africa millions of dollars in lost export earnings. Oxfam estimates that sub-Saharan African countries lost $305 million due to US subsidies in crop year 2001. Because cotton is an important livelihood for millions of poor people, Oxfam believes action is urgently needed to reform the distortions in cotton trade that undermine the value of cotton to developing countries. The central issue is US cotton subsidies, and the reforms needed are quite clear. Oxfam calls for the implementation of the Brazil-US cotton panel ruling and a timetable for the elimination of all trade-distorting cotton subsidies by the time of the Hong Kong WTO ministerial conference in December 2005.

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Rural development, World markets, Economic policy, International trade, Government policy, Livelihoods, Poverty, Economic impacts, Trade policy, Cotton, West Africa, United States, Trade-distortion, Subsidies, Export value, Governance
Oxfam Briefing Paper 2004 no. 69