India removes tariffs on ag products
|On Thursday, the same day that President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted a state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that the U.S. and India have agreed to terminate six outstanding disputes at the World Trade Organization.|
Tai announced that India had agreed to remove retaliatory tariffs, which it had imposed in response to the U.S. Section 232 national security measures on steel and aluminum, on certain U.S. products, including chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts, apples, boric acid and diagnostic reagents.
|“Prime Minister Modi’s visit has underscored the importance of the U.S.-India bilateral relationship and our cooperation on a range of shared priorities,” Tai said.|
“Today’s agreement represents the culmination of intensified bilateral engagement over the last two years, including through the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, to deepen our economic and trade ties,” Tai said.
“As a result of our work, U.S. agricultural producers and manufacturers will now enjoy renewed access to a critical global market and we will strengthen our trade relationship with one of our closest partners. I look forward to continue working with my counterpart, Minister Goyal, as we identify additional ways to bring our people and our economies together.”
Separately, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Tai would attend the state dinner.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “Removal of these tariffs is a major win for America’s farmers, building on the $15 billion in new or preserved market access for agricultural products that USDA and USTR have delivered under the Biden-Harris administration.”
“Producers will now be able to increase sales of apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds, and walnuts to one of the United States’ top trading partners.”
|USApple President and CEO Jim Bair said in a news release that the group is “thrilled” with the announcement that India will lift its retaliatory tariffs on U.S. apples.|
“We applaud the work of the Biden administration and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that achieved this important victory,” Bair said.
He also noted that USApple officials had been invited guests at the White House Modi arrival ceremony Thursday.
“U.S. apple growers can now begin the work of competing for, and hopefully regaining, this critical market,” said Bair. “We look forward to once again shipping great apples to this valued trading partner.”
Prior to the U.S. imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from India in 2018, the country was the No. 2 market for U.S. apples, quickly growing, USApple said.
When India retaliated by bringing total tariffs on U.S. apples to 70%, sales fell to nearly zero, costing U.S. growers half a billion dollars in sales, USApple added.
The White House also announced that the Global Biofuels Alliance, established by India with the United States as a founding member, will facilitate cooperation in accelerating the use of biofuels.