Washington | The United States has welcomed the recent Indian move to reduce tariffs on several American agricultural products.
Last week, India agreed to reduce tariffs on certain US products, including frozen turkey, frozen duck, fresh blueberries and cranberries, frozen blueberries and cranberries, dried blueberries and cranberries, as well as processed blueberries and cranberries.
These tariff cuts will expand economic opportunities for US agricultural producers in the critical market and help bring more products from the United States to customers in India, US officials said.
Welcoming the announcement, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the move will create new market opportunities for US producers and exporters.
“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and USTR (United States Trade Representative) have focused on rebuilding trust and strengthening relationships with our global trading partners, including India, and working through the World Trade Organization and other venues to ensure that those partners live up to their obligations so that US agriculture has full and fair access to key export markets,” Vilsack said.
The recent move follows the lifting of India's retaliatory tariffs on US apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds and walnuts, a development that was announced earlier this summer and took effect this week.
“While important progress has been made, significant tariff and non-tariff barriers to American agricultural products accessing the Indian market remain,” Vilsack said.
Senator Amy Klobuchar in a statement welcomed the agreement to lower tariffs on US turkey exports to India. The agreement will lower tariffs on frozen turkey products exports to India from 30 per cent to 5 per cent, she said.
“For too long, high tariffs have prevented American turkey farmers from exporting their products to India,” Klobuchar said.
“That's why I pushed for a resolution to create an even playing field and reduce trade barriers for American turkey farmers and producers, and I'm glad to see this agreement has been reached,” Klobuchar said.
In a separate statement, Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine said this move will help strengthen the strong partnership between India and the US while generating increased demand for Virginia poultry and supporting economic activity in the Valley.
In 2021, Virginia was the sixth largest turkey source in America after producing 14.5 million birds.
Turkey production plays a key role in Virginia's poultry industry, which provides a direct economic impact of USD 5.8 billion and contributes USD 13.6 billion in economic activity in the State.
“The National Turkey Federation applauds the efforts by the US and Indian governments to significantly reduce the tariffs. This move creates an important new market for US turkey producers and will give Indians more affordable access to a nutritious, delicious protein,” said Joel Brandenberger, president and CEO of the National Turkey Federation.
“NTF congratulates the Office of the US Trade Representative and the leadership of USDA on this accomplishment, and we thank Senators Mark R. Warner and Thom Tillis for spearheading congressional efforts to ensure US turkey growers are able to effectively compete in this fast-growing marketplace,” he said.