Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


Main policy areas



  • Cotton is covered under the AoA, but cotton products are covered under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing.

Tariff quota administration

  • A few countries such as China have TRQ for its imports.


  • Most tariffs on cotton are low but cotton textiles and clothing are highly restricted in many developed and some developing countries in order to protect domestic industries.

Amber box

  • Several major producers/exporters strongly resent the trade distorting domestic support provided in a few developed countries (e.g. United States and EU), where (relatively high-cost) production and exports are aided by support measures;
  • Support provided in developing countries is traditionally low (due to general liberalisation reforms, financial constraints etc.) and not affected by reduction commitments; mostly ad hoc intervention in domestic markets.

Export subsidies

  • Direct and indirect export subsidies/refunds are used in the both developed and developing exporters such as EU.

Export credits

  • applied by few selected countries including US

State Trading Enterprises

  • Most STEs are importers;
  • While still operating in selected countries in Asia (in particular China), STE interference in the sector has been progressively scaled back over recent years.

Export restrictions and prohibitions

  • To ensure the domestic inputs for the textiles industry, some countries such as Pakistan set up certain restrictions when domestic production was low.

Food security

  • Millions of small farmer rely on cash income from sales and exports of their cotton.

Environmental measures

  • Issues raised related to biotech cotton but no agreed measurements to deal with.

Rural development

  • Very important for local community development as millions of smallholders rely on cotton for their livelihoods.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page