US Walnut Industry Hopes to Boost Exports to India After Tariff Cut

India has recently announced that it will remove the 20 percent retaliatory tariff on US walnuts, along with some other US products, as part of a trade deal between the two countries. The tariff was imposed in 2019 in response to the US hiking its tariffs on certain steel and aluminum products from India. The decision came ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to New Delhi for the G20 Summit in September.


The California walnut industry, which produces about 99 percent of the US walnuts, has welcomed the move and expressed hope that it will help increase its exports to India and strengthen the trade ties between the two strategic allies. India is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for walnuts in the world, with a consumption of about 120,000 metric tons per year.

California Walnut Industry Faces Multiple Challenges

The California walnut industry has been facing multiple challenges in recent years, such as trade tariffs, COVID-19 pandemic-induced supply chain and transportation disruptions, global economic downturn, inflationary pressures, high dollar values, the complications brought on by the war in Ukraine and the persistent drought and heat wave that severely impacted its 2023 crop.

According to Robert Verloop, the Chief Executive Officer for the California Walnut Commission, “tree nut growers, most of whom are multi-generational family farms, make a long-term investment in their crops. They have been severely impacted by a host of unprecedented events over the last few years.” He added that the elimination of India’s retaliatory tariffs will benefit Indian consumers and businesses, as well as the California walnut industry.

California Walnut Commission Promotes Walnuts in India

The California Walnut Commission (CWC) is a non-profit organization that represents over 4,800 walnut growers and 100 handlers in California. The CWC has been promoting walnuts in India since 2011, through various marketing and educational activities, such as advertising, social media, trade shows, seminars, health research and consumer outreach.

Pamela Graviet, Senior Director of Global Programs for the CWC, said that “the California walnut industry has had a long-standing partnership with the India marketplace which is an integral part of the industry’s overall long-term strategic growth and market development plan.” She said that Indian consumers and trade partners recognize the premium quality of California walnuts and the nutritional value and great taste they bring to the Indian diet.

The CWC also works closely with the US government and trade officials to advocate for fair trade policies and market access for walnuts. Graviet thanked the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Ambassador Doug McKalip for negotiating a successful outcome for California’s walnut producers and processors. She also appreciated the support of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley and other federal, state and local elected officials and regulators.

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