September 23, 2019
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) joined U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) along with 10 other senators on Friday in sending a letter encouraging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to prioritize a reduction in pecan tariffs as the Trump Administration continues trade negotiations with India.
Oklahoma is consistently ranked top five in pecan production nationwide, producing about 5 percent of the country’s total pecan production each year.
In addition to Sen. Inhofe, Sen. Perdue was joined in sending the letter by U.S. Sens. John Boozman (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
“The current disparity in the tariffs India charges on different varieties of tree nuts has created an unlevel playing field for American producers. The current tariff on U.S. pecans entering India is approximately 36 percent, while the tariff for similar products, such as pistachios and almonds, is only 10 percent,” wrote the senators.
“Lowering the tariff on pecans would satisfy the demand of the Indian people for additional varieties of tree nuts without impacting India’s virtually nonexistent domestic pecan industry,” continued the senators.
India’s current tariff on imported pecans has negatively impacted American pecan growers. Reducing the tariff to levels shared by similar tree nuts would result in higher imports, greater revenues, and a better U.S.-India trade relationship. It is estimated that U.S. pecan exports to India would increase to $300 million within five years if the current 36 percent tariff was reduced to 10 percent or less.
Click here for the full text of the letter.