United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 03, 2023
This section may be cited as the “United States Cotton Futures Act”.
The term “future delivery” shall not include any cash sale of cotton for deferred shipment or delivery.
The term “person” includes an individual, trust, estate, partnership, association, company, or corporation.
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States.
The term “standards” means the official cotton standards of the United States established by the Secretary pursuant to the United States Cotton Standards Act, as amended [7 U.S.C. 51 et seq.].
For purposes of this section, the only markets which shall be considered bona fide spot markets shall be those which the Secretary shall, from time to time, after investigation, determine and designate to be such, and of which he shall give public notice.
In determining, pursuant to the provisions of this section, what markets are bona fide spot markets, the Secretary is directed to consider only markets in which spot cotton is sold in such volume and under such conditions as customarily to reflect accurately the value of middling cotton and the differences between the prices or values of middling cotton and of other grades of cotton for which standards shall have been established by the Secretary; except that if there are not sufficient places, in the markets of which are made bona fide sales of spot cotton of grades for which standards are established by the Secretary, to enable him to designate at least five spot markets in accordance with subsection (f)(3), he shall, from data as to spot sales collected by him, make rules and regulations for determining the actual commercial differences in the value of spot cotton of the grades established by him as reflected by bona fide sales of spot cotton, of the same or different grades, in the market selected and designated by him, from time to time, for that purpose, and in that event differences in value of cotton of various grades involved in contracts made pursuant to subsection (f)(1) and (2) shall be determined in compliance with such rules and regulations. It shall be the duty of any person engaged in the business of dealing in cotton, when requested by the Secretary or any agent acting under his instructions, to answer correctly to the best of his knowledge, under oath or otherwise, all questions touching his knowledge of the number of bales, the classification, the price or bona fide price offered, and other terms of purchase or sale, of any cotton involved in any transaction participated in by him, or to produce all books, letters, papers, or documents in his possession or under his control relating to such matter. A person complying with the preceding sentence shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising or resulting from such compliance.
Any person engaged in the business of dealing in cotton who shall, within a reasonable time prescribed by the Secretary or any agent acting under his instructions, willfully fail or refuse to answer questions or to produce books, letters, papers, or documents, as required under paragraph (2) of this subsection, or who shall willfully give any answer that is false or misleading, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $500.
Each cotton futures contract shall be a basis grade contract, or a tendered grade contract, or a specific grade contract as specified in subsections (f), (g), or (h) and shall be in writing plainly stating, or evidenced by written memorandum showing, the terms of such contract, including the quantity of the cotton involved and the names and addresses of the seller and buyer in such contract, and shall be signed by the party to be charged, or by his agent in his behalf. No cotton futures contract which does not conform to such requirements shall be enforceable by, or on behalf of, any party to such contract or his privies.
Conform to the regulations made pursuant to this section.
Specify the basis grade for the cotton involved in the contract, which shall be one of the grades for which standards are established by the Secretary, except grades prohibited from being delivered on a contract made under this subsection by subparagraph (E), the price per pound at which the cotton of such basis grade is contracted to be bought or sold, the date when the purchase or sale was made, and the month or months in which the contract is to be fulfilled or settled; except that middling shall be deemed the basis grade incorporated into the contract if no other basis grade be specified either in the contract or in the memorandum evidencing the same.
Provide that the cotton dealt with therein or delivered thereunder shall be of or within the grades for which standards are established by the Secretary except grades prohibited from being delivered on a contract made under this subsection by subparagraph (E) and no other grade or grades.
Provide that in case cotton of grade other than the basis grade be tendered or delivered in settlement of such contract, the differences above or below the contract price which the receiver shall pay for such grades other than the basis grade shall be the actual commercial differences, determined as hereinafter provided.
Provide that cotton that, because of the presence of extraneous matter of any character, or irregularities or defects, is reduced in value below that of low middling, or cotton that is below the grade of low middling, or, if tinged, cotton that is below the grade of strict middling, or, if yellow stained, cotton that is below the grade of good middling, the grades mentioned being of the official cotton standards of the United States, or cotton that is less than seven-eighths of an inch in length of staple, or cotton of perished staple, or of immature staple, or cotton that is “gin cut” or reginned, or cotton that is “repacked” or “false packed” or “mixed packed” or “water packed”, shall not be delivered on, under, or in settlement of such contract.
Provide that all tenders of cotton under such contract shall be the full number of bales involved therein, except that such variations of the number of bales may be permitted as is necessary to bring the total weight of the cotton tendered within the provisions of the contract as to weight; that, on the fifth business day prior to delivery, the person making the tender shall give to the person receiving the same written notice of the date of delivery, and that, on or prior to the date so fixed for delivery, and in advance of final settlement of the contract, the person making the tender shall furnish to the person receiving the same a written notice or certificate stating the grade of each individual bale to be delivered and, by means of marks or numbers, identifying each bale with its grade.
Provide that all tenders of cotton and settlements therefor under such contract shall be in accordance with the classification thereof made under the regulations of the Secretary by such officer or officers of the Government as shall be designated for the purpose, and the costs of such classification shall be fixed, assessed, collected, and paid as provided in such regulations and shall be credited to the account referred to in section 55 of this title. The Secretary may provide by regulation conditions under which cotton samples submitted or used in the performance of services authorized by this act shall become the property of the United States and may be sold and the proceeds credited to the foregoing account: Provided, That such cotton samples shall not be subject to the provisions of chapters 1 to 11 of title 40 and division C (except sections 3302, 3307(e), 3501(b), 3509, 3906, 4710, and 4711) of subtitle I of title 41. The Secretary is authorized to prescribe regulations for carrying out the purposes of this subparagraph and the certificates of the officers of the Government as to the classification of any cotton for the purposes of this subparagraph shall be accepted in the courts of the United States in all suits between the parties to such contract, or their privies, as prima facie evidence of the true classification of the cotton involved.
The provisions of paragraphs (1)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) shall be deemed fully incorporated into any such contract if there be written or printed thereon, or on the memorandums evidencing the same, at or prior to the time the same is signed, the phrase “Subject to United States Cotton Futures Act, subsection (f).”
For the purpose of this subsection, the differences above or below the contract price which the receiver shall pay for cotton of grades above or below the basic 1
Comply with all the terms and conditions of subsection (f) not inconsistent with this subsection; and
Provide that, in case cotton of grade or grades other than the basis grade specified in the contract shall be tendered in performance of the contract, the parties to such contract may agree, at the time of the tender, as to the price of the grade or grades so tendered, and that if they shall not then agree as to such price, then, and in that event, the buyer of said contract shall have the right to demand the specific fulfillment of such contract by the actual delivery of cotton of the basis grade named therein and at the price specified for such basis grade in said contract.
Contracts made in compliance with this subsection shall be known as “subsection (g) Contracts”. The provisions of this subsection shall be deemed fully incorporated into any such contract if there be written or printed thereon, or on the memorandum evidencing the same, at or prior to the time the same is signed, the phrase “Subject to United States Cotton Futures Act, subsection (g)”.
Nothing in this subsection shall be so construed as to authorize any contract in which, or in the settlement of or in respect to which, any device or arrangement whatever is resorted to, or any agreement is made, for the determination or adjustment of the price of the grade or grades tendered other than the basis grade specified in the contract by any “fixed difference” system, or by arbitration, or by any other method not provided for by this section.
Conform to the rules and regulations made pursuant to this section.
Specify the grade, type, sample, or description of the cotton involved in the contract, the price per pound at which such cotton is contracted to be bought or sold, the date of the purchase or sale, and the time when shipment or delivery of such cotton is to be made.
Provide that cotton of or within the grade or of the type, or according to the sample or description, specified in the contract shall be delivered thereunder, and that no cotton which does not conform to the type, sample, or description, or which is not of or within the grade specified in the contract shall be tendered or delivered thereunder.
Provide that the delivery of cotton under the contract shall not be effected by means of “setoff” or “ring” settlement, but only by the actual transfer of the specified cotton mentioned in the contract.
This subsection shall not be construed to apply to any contract of sale made in compliance with subsection (f) or (g).
When construing and enforcing the provisions of this section, the act, omission, or failure of any official, agent, or other person acting for or employed by any association, partnership, or corporation within the scope of his employment or office shall, in every case, also be deemed the act, omission, or failure of such association, partnership, or corporation, as well as that of the person.
The Secretary is authorized to make such regulations with the force and effect of law as he determines may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section and the powers vested in him by this section.
Any person who knowingly violates any regulation made in pursuance of this section, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, for each violation thereof, in the discretion of the court, and, in case of natural persons, may, in addition be punished by imprisonment for not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days, for each violation, in the discretion of the court except that this subsection shall not apply to violations subject to subsection (d)(3).
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any cotton futures contract entered into prior to the effective date of this section or to any act or failure to act by any person prior to such effective date and all such prior contracts, acts or failure to act shall continue to be governed by the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 2
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.