National Cotton Council President/CEO Mark Lange and Senior Vice-President, Washington Operations, John Maguire visited with key trade officials in Geneva ahead of the next World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial in mid-December.

The meetings were arranged by the U.S. Mission’s Office of Agricultural Affairs.

Their first meeting was with U.S. Ambassador Michael Punke, followed by a briefing with a number of WTO agricultural staff. They also had individual meetings with a number of WTO officials, including Deputy Director General Harsha Singh, Accessions Division Director Chediu Osakwe and Keith Rockwell, director of Information and External Communications.

In addition, their visits included sessions with Nicholas Imboden, executive director of the Ideas Center; and Ralf Peters, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Lange and Maguire also met with John Adank, New Zealand’s ambassador, who is expected to be elected as the new chairman of the WTO Doha Round agriculture negotiations.Adank will be the fourth successive New Zealander to hold this position.

In another session, Lange and Maguire met with Yi Xiaozhun, China’s ambassador to the WTO, and Zhao Weining, the counselor for China. With the Chinese officials, the NCC representatives stressed the need for greater transparency and market access.

In a meeting with Amit Yadav, India's counselor to the WTO, Lange and Maguire discussed the damage to the world cotton market caused by disruptive export bans.