Textile executives from five Western Hemisphere countries will tour the U.S. Cotton Belt June 9-16 to get a close look at U.S. cotton production, processing and marketing and to meet with U.S. exporters.

This and all COTTON USA Special Trade Missions seek to enhance trading ties between the U.S. cotton industry and key overseas textile manufacturing customers – with an overall goal of helping U.S. cotton capture additional market share.

The 22 tour participants represent companies in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador and Mexico – markets that are among the top 20 in the world. The firms these textile executives represent are expecting to consume about 925,000 bales in the 2011/12 marketing year of which about 756,000 bales will be U.S. cotton.

“This tour will provide a great opportunity for our industry to showcase U.S. cotton’s advantages, to cultivate important business relationships and to sell our product,” said James L. “Jimmy” Webb, a Leary, Ga., cotton producer and president of Cotton Council International (CCI), which sponsors the trade mission. “We want these manufacturers to see firsthand that our ability to reliably supply quality fiber in the world marketplace is unparalleled.”

Following a CCI briefing, the participants will participate in an ICE Futures seminar; visit a farm and gin in California’s San Joaquin Valley; observe cotton research in North Carolina, and tour the USDA cotton classing office in Bartlett, Tenn. They will meet with exporters in the four major Cotton Belt regions along with the following industry organizations: National Cotton Council, American Cotton Producers, Cotton Incorporated, American Cotton Shippers Association, Southern Cotton Growers Association, Texas Cotton Association, Plains Cotton Growers Association, Lubbock Cotton Exchange, AMCOT, Western Cotton Shippers Association, San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association and Supima.