A bipartisan group of eight influential Senators today sought the intervention of the Trump administration in "either reversal or delay" in the implementation of the recently announced 50 per cent import duty on all dry peas by India.
In a joint letter to the US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the senators, from major dry pea producing American states of Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, and Washington, alleged the announcement was "unfair trade practices" affecting American dry pea producers.
"India is the top export market for US dry peas," the letter said, which was signed by Senators Steve Daines, Jon Tester, James Risch, Heidi Heitkamp, John Hoeven, Maria Cantwell, Mire Crapo, and Patty Murray.
"The imposition of such an increase without notice has caused cash dry pea prices to collapse in the US," said the letter which was released to the press today.
Furthermore, exporters with shipments currently en route will suffer severe financial hardship when the tariff is applied to their product upon arrival, they said.
"Unless this decision is reversed or mitigated, it will have a devastating impact on the US dry pea industry," the Senators said.
"To mitigate these initial impacts, we urge that you request the Government of India to immediately reverse its decision, or at least delay imposing it for 90 days to allow shipments under existing contracts to be delivered," they said.
On November 8, India announced that all imports of dry peas will be subject to a 50 per cent tariff, effective immediately, including shipments under contract and in transit.
India is the top export market for US dry peas, purchasing an average of 200,000 tons, or 30 per cent of US exports, per year.
"In the event India continues to impose this highly- disruptive trade measure, we ask the US Department of Agriculture to use discretionary authorities, as appropriate, to purchase dry peas that otherwise would have been exported to India during the current marketing year," the Senators said in the letter.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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