In late May, 40 agriculture and food groups called on the Administration to eliminate or reduce tariffs being imposed on other countries.
The Ag groups say those countries are in turn levying tariffs against American products, which are hurting the U.S. farming industry.
One of the groups that signed the request sent to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai was US Apple. President and CEO Jim Bair says while the aluminum and steel tariffs have led to greater costs for implements and other pieces of equipment, the greater cost comes when it’s time to send product to countries like India.
He says now is the time to get out of the current situation.
“President Biden campaigned on the idea of getting out of these damaging tariffs. That hasn’t happened, and so that’s why we were happy to join with those other ag organizations from dairy, and wheat, and oil seeds and pork and rice and others to say ‘Hey it’s time to draw this to an end. We’ve been shouldering this pain for so long, let’s get out of it, and let’s get U.S. growers back to doing what they do best, which is export a great product’.”
Bair noted it’s not just India which has become a challenging market; China has also put down several tariffs hurting the apple industry. He says they have yet to hear back from the USTR, and growers are anxious.
“We normally export 1/3 of the crop, and that’s about $1 billion a year toward a positive balance of trade, and that’s really taken a hit. So, we’d like to get back into that, and the President has the ability to make that happen.”