Four U.S. Senators have written a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to address the detrimental impact of tariffs on Washington's exports to India, which have plummeted by 99%.
Led by Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the senators are requesting Biden to discuss this issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his upcoming visit to Washington, D.C.
The letter highlights that an additional 20% tariff imposed by the Indian government in 2019, along with the existing tariffs, has resulted in a total tariff of 70%. Senator Cantwell's colleagues, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), have also signed the letter.
Over the years, Washington's exports to India have declined dramatically from $120 million to less than $1 million this season. This situation has significantly impacted the profitability of growers, as they face reduced prices amidst rising input costs and disruptions in the supply chain, pushing many to the brink of closure.
The senators emphasize that Prime Minister Modi's visit presents an opportunity to rectify this situation, particularly for apple growers. They point out that the agricultural tariffs were in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum in 2018. However, India has recently announced a reduction in tariffs on American pecans. Senator Cantwell remains in contact with U.S. Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, regarding the tariffs and expressed hope for progress in the discussions.
The senators have previously sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, requesting a resolution to the tariffs.