MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Cotton Research & Promotion Program was handed a legal victory on April 24, 2006, when the United States Court of International Trade (USCIT) granted the motion to dismiss a claim filed on August 18, 2003, against the Cotton Research & Promotion Act of 1966 (as amended in 1991) by plaintiffs Cricket Hosiery Inc., The William Carter Company, Artex International Inc., and others.

“This is a decision we obviously welcome,” states William P. Crawford, president & CEO of the Memphis-based Cotton Board – the administrative and oversight arm of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. “Now we can turn our full attention toward the original intent of this program – building markets for cotton.”

In the USCIT case, plaintiffs claimed the Cotton Research & Promotion Act of 1966 violated their constitutional free speech, free association, and due process rights. “The USCIT judge certainly considered the decision and reasoning behind the most recent Supreme Court decision rendered in May of 2005 (Johanns versus the Livestock Marketing Association) – the beef case.”

“The members and alternates of the Cotton Board place great value on the past and future successes of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program, and we are eager to continue our efforts to guide this program forward,” said Nancy A. Marino, senior vice president, Global Sourcing, Sara Lee Branded Apparel and current chairman of the Cotton Board.

The Cotton Research & Promotion Program is funded by U.S. cotton producers and U.S. importers of cotton and cotton textile products. It is administered and governed by the Cotton Board, the fiduciary and oversight arm of the Program, while research and promotion activities are developed and implemented by Cotton Incorporated. The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton. As a commodity market development program created by Congress, the Program is subject to regulatory guidance from the United States Department of Agriculture.