Sunday, February 25, 2024

Poultry groups applaud turkey trade tariff reductions with India

By David B. Strickland Poultry Times editor

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai recently announced that India and the United States have resolved some outstanding trade disputes and tariffs on U.S. frozen whole turkeys, turkey parts and frozen duck are to be reduced.

President Joe Biden and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sept. 8 in New Delhi, India, for the G20 Leader’s Summit. The two also met in June in Washington, D.C., for a state visit, during which trade tariffs were also discussed.

“Resolving this last outstanding WTO dispute represents an important milestone in the U.S.-India trade relationship, while reducing tariffs on certain U.S. products enhances crucial market access for American agricultural producers,” Tai said in a statement.

For poultry industry reaction, the National Turkey Federation and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council released a joint statement noting that this agreement will reduce India’s basic tariff on frozen whole turkey, frozen turkey parts, and frozen duck from 30 percent to 5 percent.

“The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council applauds the decision to lower the tariff on imports of U.S. frozen turkey parts, whole turkeys and duck by India. This is significant, positive action,” Greg Tyler, USAPEEC president and CEO, said. “We very much appreciate our government’s ongoing efforts to increase access for U.S. poultry and egg products in India

“The lowering of tariffs on turkey meat and for some duck exports is a great success. We hope that in the future we are able to gain better access for chicken and to expand access for duck as well, which can help to further address the protein needs of Indian consumers.”

Joel Brandenburger, president and CEO of the National Turkey Federation added that NTF, “applauds the efforts by the U.S. and Indian governments to significantly reduce the tariffs. This move creates an important new market for U.S. turkey producers and will give Indians more affordable access to a nutritious, delicious protein.

“NTF congratulates the Office of the U.S. 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 U.S. turkey growers are able to effectively compete in this fast-growing marketplace.”

Senators from turkey-producing states have also expressed their gratitude for this new reduction in trade tariffs with India.

In a joint statement, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-Va.), said, “For months we’ve urged the U.S. Trade Representative to work to reduce the tariffs that make it difficult for Virginia’s producers to export poultry products to India. Today, we’re proud to report that the 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.”

“For too long, high tariffs have prevented American turkey farmers from exporting their products to India,” said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). “I’m glad to see this agreement has been reached.”

This latest reduction in trade tariffs with India also includes U.S. blueberries and cranberries, frozen, fresh, dried and processed.

“We welcome today’s news that India has agreed to reduce tariffs on its imports of U.S. turkey, duck, cranberries and blueberries, creating new market opportunities for U.S. producers and exporters in the world’s most populous nation,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, adding that, “… 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 U.S. agriculture has full and fair access to key export markets.”

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