Rep. Austin Scott Leads Bipartisan Push to Lower India’s Tariffs on U.S. Pecans

November 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Austin Scott (R-GA-08), a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, along with 23 colleagues, sent a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, encouraging the Administration to prioritize reducing India’s tariffs on American pecans. India currently has a 36% tariff on American pecans, far higher than the 10% tariff on other American tree nuts, like pistachios and almonds.

“As you may know, American pecan producers have faced many challenges due to rising imports from Mexico, Chinese tariffs, natural disasters like Hurricane Michael, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Gaining access to new markets for pecans will help ease the pain while orchards are replanted and as we push China for full implementation of its obligations under the U.S - China Economic and Trade Agreement,” wrote the Members. “Lowering the tariff on pecans would provide the Indian people with more economical access to tree nut varieties, while providing a much-needed economic boost to rural America.”

Co-signers of the letter include: Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02), David Scott (D-GA-13), Rick Crawford (R-AR-01), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), Yvette Herrell (R-NM-02), Al Lawson (D-FL-05), Buddy Carter (R-GA-01), Drew Ferguson (R-GA-03), Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04), William Timmons (R-SC-04), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-02), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08), Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01), Rick Allen (R-GA-12), Neal Dunn (R-FL-02), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01), Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19), Michael Guest (R-MS-03), Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), Julia Letlow (R-LA-05), and Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09).

Below is the full text of the letter:

November 11, 2021

The Honorable Katherine Tai

United States Trade Representative

600 17th St NW,

Washington, DC  20006

 

Dear Ambassador Tai:

We write to you about ongoing negotiations between the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Government of India. As you continue discussions to expand our bilateral trade relationship and ensure the future success of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, we would like to stress the importance of removing existing barriers to the export of U.S. agricultural products, specifically pecans.

As you may know, American pecan producers have faced many challenges due to rising imports from Mexico, Chinese tariffs, natural disasters like Hurricane Michael, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Gaining access to new markets for pecans will help ease the pain while orchards are replanted and as we push China for full implementation of its obligations under the U.S - China Economic and Trade Agreement.

India’s middle class has demonstrated its desire for consumer-oriented agricultural products, like tree nuts, and their market represents one of the fastest growing in the world. Unfortunately, the current high tariff (36 percent) that India charges on pecan imports makes it difficult for American producers to compete in this important market. In contrast, India’s tariffs on U.S. pistachio and almond imports are much lower (10 percent). Lowering the tariff on pecans would provide the Indian people with more economical access to tree nut varieties, while providing a much-needed economic boost to rural America.

The pecan industry contributes over $3.57 billion to the economies of the 15 pecan producing states in the United States. Over the last ten years, exports alone have pumped an additional $1.25 billion in economic activity into rural America. Reducing trade barriers into India is an opportunity to strengthen the economy of rural America.

Thank you for your commitment to expand market access for American agricultural products around the world.

Sincerely,

-30-

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