CONGRESSMAN BISHOP ADVOCATES FOR GA PECAN INDUSTRY’S EXPANSION INTO INDIA
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, advocated for Georgia’s pecan industry during a brief meeting with India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in New York City on Sunday. After a private conversation, he gave Prime Minister Modi and his staff a letter calling for India to reduce pecan tariff rates.
“Georgia is a major exporter of pecans,” said Congressman Bishop. “The tariff on U.S. pecans, however, is currently an astronomical 36.26% in India, while other U.S. tree nuts enter India at a tariff rate of 10% or below. I was pleased to have had an opportunity to personally bring this situation to Prime Minister Modi’s attention so that more U.S. pecans can enter India’s market.”
Over the past five days, Modi made his first trip to the United States as Prime Minister of India, meeting with the President, lawmakers, business leaders, and members of the Indian Diaspora in New York City and Washington DC. After speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Modi greeted 19,000 people at a rally at Madison Square Garden. Congressman Bishop had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Modi and advocate for the pecan industry at a diplomatic reception just prior to the Prime Minister’s address to the Indian Diaspora and other official guests at Madison Square Garden.
Pecans are grown in about 15 states in the southern belt of the United States. U.S. growers produced 360 million pounds of pecans in 2012, about 45 % of which was exported to other countries. In 2013 the U.S. exported 54,923 metric tons of pecans. Georgia is the largest producer of pecans in the United States.
To view the letter to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, please click here.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
His Excellency Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi 110011
Dear Prime Minister:
The pecan industry is very excited about the potential of exporting pecans to India. India has a dynamic economy and a long history of consuming tree nuts. The reaction of consumers in India to pecan samples distributed and pecans that have been delivered to date has been very positive. A study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that pecans contain more antioxidants than any other tree nut at 5,095 micromoles per ounce. In comparison, one ounce of walnuts only contains 3,846 micromoles and one ounce of almonds only contains 1,265 micromoles. The major hindrance of developing this market in India is the very high tariff placed on imported pecans.
Though India does not produce pecans, it has levied an effective duty of 36.26% on all pecan imports and a requirement to fumigate all large incoming shipments, which adds to costs and delays. While pecan imports are burdened with this high tariff, other U.S. tree nuts enter India at a tariff rate of 10% or below.
I respectfully ask for you to review the tariff rates placed on U.S. pecans. The U.S. pecan industry would like to continue to expand our market in India and share this delicious and healthy tree nut with India’s consumers.
With warmest regards, I remain
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
Member of Congress