Washington: A US Congressman has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce the tariff on pecan, a variety of walnut.
Congressman Sanford D Bishop, member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, made the request during a meeting with Modi in New York last month.
After a private conversation, he gave Prime Minister Modi and his staff a letter calling for India to reduce pecan tariff rates, a media release said on Tuesday.
"Though India does not produce pecans, it has levied an effective duty of 36.26 per cent 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 US tree nuts enter India at a tariff rate of 10 per cent or below," he wrote in the letter.
"I respectfully ask for you to review the tariff rates placed on US pecans. The US pecan industry would like to continue to expand our market in India and share this delicious and healthy tree nut with India's consumers," he wrote.
A study done by the US 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, he noted.
"The major hindrance of developing this market in India is the very high tariff placed on imported pecans," said the Congressman from Georgia.
"Georgia is a major exporter of pecans," he said.
"The tariff on US pecans, however, is currently an astronomical 36.26 per cent in India, while other US tree nuts enter India at a tariff rate of 10 per cent or below. I was pleased to have had an opportunity to personally bring this situation to Prime Minister Modi?s attention so that more US pecans can enter India?s market," Bishop said in a statement.
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Updated Date: Oct 08, 2014 13:55:52 IST