Tariffs On Apples: US Farmers Happy, Himachal Pradesh Not So Much
India-West News Desk
WASHINGTON, DC – The US produce industry greeted with relief the lifting of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products including apples, lentils, walnuts, and chickpeas.
U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai said, the agreement was the “culmination of intensified bilateral engagement over the last two years, including through the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum.”
The U.S. Apple Association said it was “thrilled” and said, “We applaud the work of the Biden Administration and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative that achieved this important victory.” USApple President and CEO, Jim Bair was an invited guest of the White House at the arrival ceremony for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The tariff had been laid on apples in retaliation to former President Donald Trump’s actions against Indian steel in 2018 and 2019.
Prior to this India was the number two market for U.S. apples – and quickly growing. When India retaliated by bringing total tariffs on U.S. apples to 70 percent, sales fell to nearly zero, costing U.S. growers half a billion dollars in sales.Meanwhile, Modi’s decision to reduce the import duty on Washington apples from 70 to 50 percent was against the interests of apple growers of Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu said on June 26.
During the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Modi had promised to increase the import duty on foreign apples and to blend five percent apple concentrate in all types of cold drinks.