With an investigation over U.S. cotton subsidies underway in Peru, the leading trade group for the cotton industry in the United States has turned to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington for help.
National Cotton Council of America has enlisted Akin to "[m]onitor [a] foreign trade remedy investigation of U.S. cotton programs and advocate in favor of [a] U.S. response," according to a lobbying registration report the law firm filed with Congress this week.
The paperwork doesn't provide further details on the firm's work for the National Cotton Council, and efforts to obtain a comment were unsuccessful. Akin consultant John Gilliland, who is handling the account, didn't immediately return messages seeking comment, and Council spokeswoman Marjory Walker didn't have an immediate comment.
A Peruvian probe into whether U.S. cotton subsidies are an economic drain on the South American country's cotton growers also was a topic of discussion at the Council's mid-year board meeting last month, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn., reported. U.S. government officials have held meetings with Peruvian authorities to dispute the allegations concerning the U.S. cotton subsidies.
Mark Lange, president and chief executive officer of the Council, told the newspaper that Peru could add duties to U.S. cotton imports, leading to problems for U.S. cotton exported to other countries.
"We also ship cotton to a number of other countries that have a small domestic cotton industry," Lange said. "We do not want other countries to be emboldened by a successful action on Peru's part and place duties on U.S. imports."
Akin is the first firm to lobby for the Council since 2010, when Gillon & Associates and Squire Sanders Public Advocacy lobbied for the group, according to congressional records.