WASHINGTON: The United States has welcomed India's consent to reduce tariffs on several American agricultural products.
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in a statement said that the US welcomes the news that "India has agreed to reduce tariffs on its imports of US turkey, duck, cranberries and blueberries" and noted that it will create new market opportunities for American producers and exporters in New Delhi."
Vilsack's statement comes after United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced last week that the two nations have agreed to resolve their last outstanding dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and lower tariffs on certain US agricultural products, including a frozen turkey, frozen duck, fresh blueberries and cranberries, frozen blueberries and cranberries, dried blueberries and cranberries, and processed blueberries and cranberries.
The announcement came as US President Joe Biden met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 8 in New Delhi ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
The joint statement released by India and the US after the meeting between the two leaders said, "The leaders lauded the settlement of the seventh and last outstanding World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute between India and the United States."
Notably, the six disputes in WTO were resolved during PM Narendra Modi's State visit to the US in June.
Vilsack said, "Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA and USTR 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," according to US Trade Representative Office's press release.
Congressman Rick Larsen called India's move to reduce tariffs on frozen blueberries "good news" for Washington state. Larsen thanked Katherine Tai for their continued work to ensure that Washington blueberry farmers can "compete on level terms with other blueberry exporting countries and feed the world," according to the US Trade Representative Office's press release.
US Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine said, "Today, we’re proud to report that USTR has finally come to an agreement with India to reduce these retaliatory tariffs. This move will help strengthen the strong partnership between our two nations while generating increased demand for Virginia poultry and supporting economic activity in the Valley."
US Senator Amy Klobuchar said, "For too long, high tariffs have prevented American turkey farmers from exporting their products to India…I’m glad to see this agreement has been reached."
National Turkey Federation lauded the efforts of the Indian and US governments to reduce the tariffs.
In a statement, it said, "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."