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Senator Reverend Warnock Leads Bipartisan Group of Senators in Urging the U.S. Trade Representative to Increase International Market Access for Georgia's Pecan Growers

Government and Politics

August 3, 2022


Today, Senator Reverend Warnock led a bipartisan group of senators in pushing the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to negotiate with the Indian Government for lower tariff rates that will benefit Georgia pecan growers and shellers

A member of the Senate Agriculture committee, Senator Reverend Warnock has advocated to expand market opportunities and increase profitability for Georgia pecan growers and shellers

Senator Reverend Warnock: “Expanding export market opportunities is key to the future of the pecan industry, and we are committed to working with you in support of this goal”

Georgia is a leading pecan-producing state, accounting for about one-third of total U.S. production. High tariffs imposed by India have severely limited Georgia pecan exports

From Agri-Pulse: “Eight senators led by Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock are pushing U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to confront India – a companion in the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework – over its 100% tariff on pecans”

ICYMI—Senator Reverend Warnock on June 9th: “Our farmers are facing trade barriers in international markets right now. This moment of uncertainty in our international markets demands strong leadership”

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), the chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, led a bipartisan group of senators in pushing the Biden Administration to create more trade conditions for Georgia pecan growers and shellers. In the letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai (USTR), Senator Warnock and his colleagues urged USTR to push to reduce the tariff for U.S. pecans in India, which will expand market opportunities  for Georgia pecan growers and shellers. The letter is cosigned by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK). 

“The U.S. pecan industry faces an excessively high tariff of 100 percent when exporting to India. Demand for tree nuts continues to grow in India, and high tariffs mean that the pecan industry is not able to participate in this booming market. India’s principal goal of the pecan tariff is revenue, but the high tariff has resulted in few imports and consequently little revenue for the country,” wrote Senator Warnock.“Eliminating the tariff or, at a minimum, reducing the tariff to the level of other tree nuts, would simultaneously raise tariff revenues for India and increase U.S. imports, resulting in a mutually beneficial situation for both countries.”

“Expanding export market opportunities is key to the future of the pecan industry, and we are committed to working with you in support of this goal,” concluded Senator Warnock. 

Georgia is a leading pecan-producing state, accounting for about one-third of total U.S. production. However, a high pecan tariff imposed by India has severely limited Georgia pecan exports. U.S. pecans exported to India are subject to a 100% tariff. Demand for tree nuts continues to grow in India, and high tariffs mean that the pecan industry does not have adequate access to this booming market. India’s principal goal of the pecan tariff is revenue, but the high tariff has resulted in few imports and consequently little revenue for the country.  Eliminating or reducing the tariff to achieve parity with other tree nuts would result in higher import levels of pecans. This would both expand market access for U.S. pecans and provide more revenue for India. Without a reduction in the current tariff rate, there is little opportunity for U.S. pecan export success as compared to other tree nuts.

A stalwart advocate for Georgia’s farmers, earlier this summer, as the chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, Senator Warnock called on his Senate colleagues to quickly consider and confirm nominees for two agricultural trade leadership positions within the administration to address trade concerns and reduce trade barriers faced by Georgia farmers. In May, Senator Warnock visited Dickey Farms in Musella, GA where he met with local farmers, along with state and local agriculture leaders, about federal efforts to address farm stress and strengthen access to mental health care for farmers. During his visit, the Senator heard repeatedly about the need to address farmers’ trade concerns as a key step toward increasing profitability and alleviating farmer stress. Additionally, last summer, Senator Warnock led a bipartisan push in the Senate to reduce restrictive trade barriers and expand export market access for domestic peanut farmers and processors in a letter to USDA and USTR.

Read the full letter HERE.