January 2005 -- The U.S. Congress recently approved the Miscellaneous Trade Bill, which includes language calling for a two-year extension of the American Wool Trust.
As ranking member of the finance committee, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) led the effort in the Senate along with Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY) in extending the trust through 2008.
The American Wool Trust, which was established in 2000 in agreement with the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), utilizes a portion of the wool tariff to advance the marketing potential for U.S. wool, improve wool quality and enhance production information.
The Trust has been the instrumental factor in the success of the ASI wool programs over the last four years. The ASI Wool Council has strengthened competition for U.S. wools as well as narrowed the price margins between many U.S. and Australian wools to the smallest margin since World War II. In addition, ASI?s support of U.S. wool marketers and warehouses has led to an unprecedented international demand for local wool.
?We are extremely proud of the accomplishments we have achieved through the Wool Trust and of our services to U.S. wool growers as well as the domestic mills,? stated ASI Executive Director, Peter Orwick.
Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee secured approval for the Wool Trust extension last month.
?We appreciate Chairman Thomas? work with Senators Baucus and Thomas to ensure the wool package, which will continue to provide benefits to U.S. wool mills and suit manufacturers and equitable benefits for U.S. wool growers,? added Orwick.
This newest budget provides for programs in the areas of wool-clip certification, poly-contamination reduction, new wool-product development and producer information and research.
?With U.S. wools being utilized by eight or more countries now as well as the U.S. military and domestic mills, the extension of the Wool Trust Funding is an exciting opportunity for the ASI Board of Directors,? concluded Orwick.
The Miscellaneous Trade Bill now awaits the President?s signature.