The decision to reduce tariffs on fresh, frozen, and dried blueberries has been applauded by the North American Blueberry Council
The tariff reduction was revealed on Friday (8 September) by US trade representative Katherine Tai.
NABC president Kasey Cronquist released a statement in response to USTR’s announcement.
“We applaud the Biden Administration for their work to strengthen US trade relations with India,” said Cronquist. ”India is a key market for US blueberry producers, and we welcome the opportunity to bring more blueberries to Indian consumers.
“The US has long faced a 30 per cent tariff in India, which has resulted in declining market share for American blueberries against countries that have enjoyed free trade and reduced tariffs with India,” she continued.
”The reduction in tariffs for US blueberries will put American producers at a more level playing field with our competitors.”
Cronquist said that the announcement was the result of ”many years of work and investment” by the collective US blueberry industry to increase consumer demand for American-grown blueberries in India.
”I would be remiss not to acknowledge the growers on the West Coast who were the early drivers in bringing US blueberries to India,” she noted.
”In 2017, the Washington Blueberry Commission (WBC) secured a Specialty Crop Block Grant that laid important groundwork for what became an industry-wide effort to lower the tariff in India.
”I commend the WBC and all of our state organisation partners for their leadership in developing the market for blueberries in India and for their continued partnership on this effort.
“Our growers and marketers have fostered a special connection with their Indian customers and we are excited to see these connections strengthen going forward with the newly reduced tariffs,” Cronquist added.
”This is not only great news for US blueberries, it is surely welcomed news by Indian consumers who have grown to love the consistent and unparalleled quality of US blueberries.”