A group of influential lawmakers from Georgia on Friday celebrated the decision of the Indian government to reduce tariff of US pecan exports by 70 per cent.
The move would benefit thousands of farmers and is a big deal for the American pecan industry, they said.
Senator Raphael Warnock said he is thrilled to see months of advocacy on behalf of Georgia pecan growers and sellers pay off.
"Georgia produces nearly a third of America's pecans, and this announcement from the Indian government is welcome news that will expand global access to Georgia, and further cement our state's status as a prime agriculture state," said the Senator who is a member of the Senate Agriculture committee.
House Agriculture Committee Vice Chair Austin Scott, Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee David Scott, and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. in a joint statement applauded the decision of India's government to reduce tariffs on US pecan exports by 70 per cent.
The decision reflects over a decade of bipartisan, collaborative efforts on behalf of America's pecan growers, they said. Georgia is the top pecan producing state in the US and the local industry is valued at USD 250 million.
"The announcement that India will lower the tariffs on US pecans by 70 per cent is a big deal for Georgia pecan growers and the American Pecan Industry," Bishop said.
"Much of the global supply of pecans is grown right here in Georgia, and I commend India's decision to reduce tariffs on our pecan exports and allow us into their growing market," said Scott.
"This is more than a win for pecan farmers, this is a win for Georgia, and it couldn't have been done without the hard work of my colleagues Representatives Sanford Bishop and David Scott," he said.
Congressman Scott thanked the US Trade Representative and the US Department of Agriculture for the years of hard work that led to this outcome. "I look forward to working with Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack, alongside newly-confirmed Chief Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip and Under Secretary Alexis Taylor, on securing more trade wins for the agriculture industry," he said.
Samantha McLeod, the Executive Director of the Georgia Pecan Growers Association, was excited about the opportunity to expand the US pecan export market to India.
"Pecans are grown in 15 states, including Georgia, and have a significant impact on these rural communities-the reduction of the tariff on US pecan exports to India will ensure that our industry continues to expand and thrive," he said.
Marianne Brown, Executive Board Member of the National Pecan Federation and Pecan Grower in Leesburg, Georgia, said Pecans are an essential portion of the rural economy in Georgia and opening the export market to India will ensure the industry continues to grow and thrive.
Georgia is the leading pecan-producing state, accounting for about one-third of total US production.