U.S. pecan growers trying to sell pecans into India are hitting a barrier. They say India's tree nut trade tariff is too costly. They want the U.S. government to help them get fair pricing of pecan imports from the United States to India.
“The opportunity to export pecans to India with a reduced tariff could contribute millions of dollars to the rural economy of Georgia and the other 14 pecan-producing states,” said Randy Hudson, President of the Georgia Pecan Growers Association, who has travelled to India to promote U.S.-grown pecans.
Last month, Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman about the India pecan tariff problem. Bishop’s district, the Second Congressional District of Georgia, is the largest pecan-producing Congressional District in the nation.
“There is a disturbing discrepancy between import tariff rates which have been applied by India to various tree nuts. U.S. growers have visited India, met with potential buyers and participated in trade shows, yet they continue to find the current tariff rate a major barrier to U.S. pecans entering India,” Bishop says.
“As part of the upcoming discussions with India’s Prime Minister, I would be grateful for your efforts to urge India to lower their import tariff rates on U.S. pecans. With lower rates, India could be as important of a market for U.S. pecans as China.”
Commercially produced in 15 states, pecans are the only native tree nut grown in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of the world’s pecan production is located in the United States. U.S. growers produced 125,000 tons of pecans in 2011, with almost half the U.S. market exported to other countries. Georgia is the country’s largest producer.