Americans for Prosperity (AFP), based in Arlington, Virginia, is keeping a close eye on the cotton industry – along with other agricultural industries – as Congress strives to enact a stopgap spending bill in the near future.
AFP said in a release that not only does the cotton industry in the United States already accept over $200 million in annual government subsidies, costing citizens another $300 million in taxes over the last three years, but certain larger corporations are overtly designing strategies to protect their own interests by crafting customized programs such as the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) and Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO).
AFP said on its website that Big Cotton is currently lobbying for even more handouts in the form of bolstering certain programs such as Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), which the group says have more than doubled their anticipated cost since the last Farm Bill was passed in 2014.
The impact potentially affects global trade as well, AFP said. If the government opts to subsidize cotton giants through industry-weighted incentives like ARC and PLC, it could end up costing taxpayers yet another $1 billion.
“Even if Congress finds a way to offset this new spending, there is no defense for this kind of cronyism.” AFP said in the release. The organization did not specify which additional industries took part in the effort to pad their own coffers.