How India’s recent removal of tariffs is a win for U.S. apple producers

India has announced it is dropping its 20% retaliatory apple tariffs.

The President and CEO of USApple says this means so much to northwest growers.

“When the U.S. imposed the steel aluminum tariffs in 2018 in the spring, India had overtaken Canada as our second largest apple export market and it was growing fast,” says Jim Bair. “Exports of apples, principally from Washington state to India, went from second largest market and growing, to just basically a sell-off the table and went almost to zero and that was costing, in five years, that cost about $600 million in lost sales for apple growers.”

Even with this win though, Bair says there is a lot of work left to do.

“Sales still have to be made. It’s not like India went without apples for five years. There were other countries who were more than happy to swoop in and fill the vacuum that we left. So, now we’ve got to compete against some countries that have a much lower cost of production,” says Bair. “Countries like Iran and Turkey and places that aren’t particularly, you know, easy to compete against with their low-cost structures. Maybe the really hard work begins now in trying to make the sales and get back in there. But at least the issue is on the table, and we have an opportunity to compete, whereas for the last five years we had not had that opportunity.”

Bair says this particularly good news for red delicious growers as the popularity for the apple has been declining in the U.S. Whereas, India would take $120 million worth of them each year.

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