The entire Washington State congressional delegation, led by Representative Kim Schrier and Senator Maria Cantwell has sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretary of Commerce requesting their help to remove harmful tariffs by India on Washington state apples. The letter comes at the same time as a Trade Policy Forum with India this week.
In the letter, the members said,“The Trade Policy Forum provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Trade Representative and the Government of India to discuss retaliatory tariffs that are hurting tree fruit growers in the Pacific Northwest and nationally. It is important to use this forum to work towards a solution that will allow the tree fruit industry to remain viable and continue to produce tree fruit domestically.”
The letter concludes,“The damage inflicted by the retaliatory tariffs on tree fruit growers, their employees, and communities is clear and a solution is long overdue.”
In the letter, the members point out that the tree fruit industry has suffered significant losses due to India’s retaliation. For example, prior to the implementation of these tariffs, India was Washington’s number two export market, valued at $120 million annually. Last season, growers exported barely $3 million. The members also mention in the letter that the tariffs come at an already difficult time for farmers and growers in Washington state, with costs rising and multi-generation farms going out of business.