Fitch Places United States’ ‘aaa’ On Rating Watch Negative

16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Cotton Australia and Cotton Incorporated today announced a joint program to raise awareness of the responsible growing practices among cotton producers in Australia and the United States.A Called Cotton LEADSa, the program is aimed at textile brands, retailers and manufacturers committed to sourcing cotton that is grown in a responsible and transparent manner.A Validating the Cotton LEADS program are the national-level oversight, regulatory enforcement, and transparency of practices common to both countries. Combined, Australia and the United States account for roughly 17% of global cotton production.A More information can be found at www.cottonleads.org . “Cotton LEADS is designed to assist businesses along the cotton supply chain with their sustainability goals,” says Berrye Worsham, president and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.A “Apparel brands, retailers, and manufacturers require large volumes and a reliable supply of responsibly-produced fiber, as well as proof of responsible production. Through Cotton LEADS we demonstrate how cotton grown in the United States and Australia can help meet these requirements,” adds Worsham. “Cotton producers in Australia and the U.S. pioneered practices that have resulted in impressive, country-wide environmental gains,” explains Adam Kay, CEO of Cotton Australia.A “Both countries approach improvement on a national level. This includes national reporting and regulatory enforcement, but also facilitates the national implementation of best practices and the ability to collect data on a national level,” adds Kay. The national focus of Cotton LEADS differs from the range of farm-by-farm certification programs that have emerged in recent years, and which the International Cotton Advisory Committee has termed “identity cottons,” but the goals are parallel.A “Cotton LEADS members are committed to providing the supply chain with greater volumes of responsibly-grown cotton, to ongoing improvement, and to the transparency of processes and metrics.” The Cotton LEADSa program is founded on five core principles: COMMITMENT to the social, environmental, economic, and regulatory factors to produce world-class cotton. RECOGNITION that sustainable and responsible cotton production requires continual improvement, investment, research, and sharing of best practices information among growers and industry. UNDERSTANDING that leading change in a responsible and sustainable cotton practices will have the most positive impact when implemented in collaboration with farm, regional, national and international programs. BELIEF in the benefit of working cooperatively with similar programs that seek to advance responsible and sustainable cotton production in an effort to keep global cotton competitive in world fiber markets. CONFIDENCE in a cotton identification system that ensures traceability from farm to manufacturer. The National Cotton Council of America and its export promotion program Cotton Council International join Cotton Australia and Cotton Incorporated as founding members.A Kevin Latner, Executive Director of Cotton Council International states, “Users of Australian and U.S. cotton can take confidence in these core principles, which are built upon a track record of responsible production practices and a commitment to continuing improvement.” Cotton LEADS currently has two member nations, Australia and the United States.

Cotton LEADS™ – Australia & The United States: Pioneers & Partners In Progress

Fitch’s medium-term fiscal projections incorporate assumptions regarding the medium-term growth potential of the US economy and do not incorporate potential upside benefits from shale gas or downside risks emanating from the eurozone and elsewhere. They draw heavily upon Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections, including CBO assumptions and judgements regarding the take up of various benefits as well as the rate of growth of health care spending. Financial sector risks are currently judged to be low as reflected by Fitch’s stable outlook for the U.S. banking sector. Contact: Primary Analyst Ed Parker Managing Director +44 20 3530 1176 Fitch Ratings Limited 30 North Colonnade London E14 5GN Secondary Analyst Tony Stringer Managing Director +44 20 3530 1219 Committee Chairperson Douglas Renwick Senior Director +44 20 3530 1045 Media Relations: Brian Bertsch, New York, Tel: +1 212-908-0549, Email: brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com; Peter Fitzpatrick, London, Tel: +44 20 3530 1103, Email: peter.fitzpatrick@fitchratings.com; Daniel Noonan, New York, Tel: +1 (212) 908-0706, Email: daniel.noonan@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com Applicable criteria, ‘Sovereign Rating Criteria’ dated 13 August 2012 and ‘Country Ceilings’ dated 09 August 2013, are available at www.fitchratings.com. Applicable Criteria andALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here . IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM’. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE.

United States debt crisis comes to an end

“Most importantly, this legislation ends a standoff that ground the work of Washington to a halt.” Harry Reid says this is not a time of finger-pointing and blame, but a time of reconciliation – and he has touched on the need for the Senate to work in a more bi-partisan way in the future. Hesays the ‘remarkable agreement’ will protect the long term health of the economy, avoid default, and set up a foundation for economic expansion. “What we’ve done is send a message to Americans, from every one of our 50 states, in addition to that to the citizens of every country in the world, that the United States lives up to its obligations.” Harry Reid has talked about new levels of co-operation between Republicans and Democrats in reaching the agreement. “I’m optimistic that the spirit of compromise (which) has taken root in the Senate over the last two days, will endure.” Hesays after sitting in very serious discussions over the last few days, he and Republican leader Mitch McConnell will do everything they can to change the atmosphere in the Senate. White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, has just spoken to media in Washington. He says Barack Obama has welcomed progress, saying it achieves what is necessary and removes the threat of default. “We haven’t seen legislation move through either house at this point, so we’re not issuing an official statement of administration policy. “He (Obama) looks forward to Congress acting so that he can sign legislation that will reopen the government, and remove this threat from our economy.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he will support the plan. “There’s a lot more we need to do to get our nation’s fiscal health in order. “Hopefully once we’ve gotten past the drama of the moment, we can get to work on it.” Republican Senator Jeff Denham says he has big concerns, but this has to be done. “We need to do everything we can to avoid this debt ceiling. “We understand, both Republicans and Democrats understand how bad this can be for our nation, as well as the world economy.” Another Republican Senator, Ted Cruz, says he won’t block the deal, but he is not happy. “The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare.” Earlier, investment expert Warren Buffet likened the situation to playing with an atomic bomb. “It’s really a political weapon of mass destruction. “There are certain things that shouldn’t be used. I know it’s been used in the past, but we used the atomic bomb back in 1945 (and) we decided we weren’t going to use something like that again.” Sky News reporter Dominic Waghorn says even though a deal is done, the question remains open over permanent damage to America’s reputation. “Has it been permanently damaged by this debacle? By political gridlock in Washington? “Whatever happens … will the world now look at America differently in terms of the way it views its ability to honour its debt?” Dominic Waghorn says one ratings agency has already put the country on watch for a possible downgrade because of the brinkmanship going on. Hannah Thomas-Peter, also of Sky News, says even though this is a temporary fix there have been huge gains on the stock market. “The conventional wisdom on Wall Street – the market expectation – has always been that America would not default on its obligations. “Warren Buffett, one of America’s most famous businessmen, said that it wasn’t possible America could be so idiotic as to allow that to happen, and that a default was unthinkable.

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