A National Cotton Council leadership team visited China Sept. 4-12 to gather information from Chinese cotton industry officials and update them on key facets of the U.S. cotton industry.

The U.S. cotton industry delegation was the fourth to visit China since the establishment of the U.S. - China Cotton Leadership Exchange Program by the NCC and the Chinese Cotton Association (CCA). This visit was part of the ongoing exchange between the two countries as was established by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2006 that promised cooperation between the countries’ cotton industries.

The visit was coordinated by Cotton Council International (CCI), the NCC’s export promotions arm. The NCC delegation was led by NCC Vice Chairman Charles Parker, a Senath, Mo., producer. Other members included David Dunlow, a Roanoke Rapids, N.C., producer; Kirk Gilkey, a Corcoran, Calif., produce/ginner; Shawn Holladay, a Lubbock, Texas, producer; Richard Kelley a Burlison, Tenn., producer; Mike Quinn, a Garner, N.C., marketing cooperative representative; and Harrison Ashley, vice president of NCC’s Ginner Services.

While in Beijing, delegation members heard reports from CCA, the China National Textile and Apparel Council and Chinatex. In the Hebei Province, members visited Gaoyang Shuofeng Farm Products Co. where they toured farms, a cotton variety research center, a cotton gin and the Hongrun New Materials textile mill. In Tianjin, the delegation visited the Tianjin Cotton Exchange Market, the Dongjang Free Trade Zone, the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and the Tianjin Tianfanfg Textile Mill, which is a Cotton USA licensee. While in Hangzhou, the group visited JNBY and Saintyear textile mills, and they toured the Shanghai offices of CCI and Cotton Incorporated.

Parker said that one of visit’s primary purposes was to relay the message to key Chinese cotton officials the U.S. cotton industry’s continued commitment to deliver high quality cotton in a timely manner.

“China is the United States’ largest customer of raw cotton and we are committed to meeting their needs in terms of both quality and timely shipments,” Parker said. “It was apparent that the Chinese greatly appreciated our visiting them in their country and they expressed their desire for doing business with the U.S. cotton industry. This visit gave us the necessary platform to discuss issues surrounding U.S. raw cotton quality and reinforced our continued commitment to ongoing dialogue between our two countries.”