Senators urge USTR to negotiate with India for lowering Pecan tariff rates

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 03-08-2022 18:26 IST | Created: 03-08-2022 18:26 IST
Senators urge USTR to negotiate with India for lowering Pecan tariff rates
  • Country:
  • United States

A bipartisan group of eight influential senators have urged the US Trade Representative to negotiate with the Indian government to lower the tariff of pecans which will benefit American farmers in several states including Georgia.

The US pecan industry faces an excessively high tariff of 100 per cent when exporting to India, the senators on Tuesday alleged in a letter to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

Pecan is a smooth pinkish-brown nut with an edible kernel similar to a walnut.

They argued that high tariffs prevent the pecan industry from participating in this booming market as the demand for tree nuts continued to grow in India.

“India’s principal goal of the pecan tariff is revenue, but the high tariff has resulted in few imports and consequently little revenue for the country. Eliminating the tariff or, at a minimum, reducing the tariff to the level of other tree nuts would simultaneously raise tariff revenues for India and increase US imports, resulting in a mutually beneficial situation for both countries,” said the senators.

The letter to Tai was led by Georgian Senator Reverend Warnock. Georgia is a leading pecan-producing state, accounting for about one-third of total US production.

High tariffs imposed by India have severely limited Georgia pecan exports, he said.

''Expanding export market opportunities is key to the future of the pecan industry, and we are committed to working with you in support of this goal,” the Senators wrote in the letter signed by John Cornyn, Jon Ossoff, Ben Ray Lujan, Ted Cruz, Martin Heinrich, Thom Tillis, and Jim Inhofe.

Pecans, the Senators wrote, are significant contributors to rural economies across the 15 states where they are grown.

In recent years, the domestic pecan industry has faced a myriad of issues, including rising import pressures and damaging weather events that have hindered the industry’s ability to succeed, they said.

“Previously, the US was shipping 100 million pounds per year to trading partners in East Asia. Last year, the US shipped only 38 million pounds of pecans to this region, a 62 per cent decrease,'' the letter emphasised.

''In addition, shipments to trading partners in East Asia from Mexico and South Africa have made the international market increasingly competitive. Recent increases in the costs of production have only underscored the need to expand export markets for the domestic pecan industry,” the senators wrote.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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