US welcomes India's tariff reduction on American agricultural productstext_fields
Washington: The United States has expressed its approval of India's recent decision to reduce tariffs on various American agricultural products.
Last week, India agreed to lower tariffs on specific US items, including frozen turkey, frozen duck, fresh blueberries, cranberries (both fresh and dried), as well as processed blueberries and cranberries. This move is expected to expand economic opportunities for US agricultural producers in the Indian market and enable more American products to reach Indian consumers.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack welcomed the announcement, highlighting the potential for creating new market opportunities for US producers and exporters.
He highlighted the Biden-Harris Administration's focus on rebuilding trust and strengthening relationships with global trading partners, including India. Vilsack also mentioned their commitment to ensuring that trade partners uphold their obligations, allowing US agriculture to have full and fair access to key export markets through venues such as the World Trade Organization.
This development follows India's recent decision to lift retaliatory tariffs on several US agricultural products, including apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds, and walnuts. These changes, announced earlier this summer, have now taken effect.
While progress has been made, Vilsack noted that significant tariff and non-tariff barriers for American agricultural products attempting to enter the Indian market still exist.
Senator Amy Klobuchar praised the agreement to reduce tariffs on US turkey exports to India. This agreement will significantly lower tariffs on frozen turkey product exports to India, reducing them from 30% to 5%. Klobuchar emphasised the importance of creating a level playing field and reducing trade barriers for American turkey farmers.
Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine highlighted the positive impact of this move on strengthening the partnership between India and the US. They also noted that it would generate increased demand for Virginia poultry, supporting economic activity in the region.
Virginia is a significant contributor to the US turkey industry, ranking sixth in turkey production in 2021, with 14.5 million birds produced. Turkey production plays a vital role in Virginia's poultry industry, which has a direct economic impact of USD 5.8 billion and contributes USD 13.6 billion to the state's economic activity.
Joel Brandenberger, President and CEO of the National Turkey Federation, commended the efforts of both the US and Indian governments to reduce tariffs significantly.
He highlighted that this move opens up an essential new market for US turkey producers and provides Indians with more affordable access to a nutritious and delicious protein source. The National Turkey Federation also thanked the Office of the US Trade Representative, USDA leadership, and Senators Mark R. Warner and Thom Tillis for their contributions to this achievement.