~ Press release from the offices of U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 8 — On Friday, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine both praised an announcement by United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai that the Republic of India will reduce prohibitively high tariffs on U.S. turkey products – an important Virginia commodity.
“For months we’ve urged the U.S. Trade Representative to work to reduce the tariffs that make it difficult for Virginia’s producers to export poultry products to India. Today, we’re proud to report that USTR has finally come to an agreement with India to reduce these retaliatory tariffs. This move will help strengthen the strong partnership between our two nations while generating increased demand for Virginia poultry and supporting economic activity in the Shenandoah Valley,”Sens. Warner and Kaine stated jointly in the Sept. 8 press release.
In 2021, Virginia was the sixth largest turkey source in America after producing 14.5 million birds. Turkey production plays a key role in the Commonwealth’s poultry industry, which provides a direct economic impact of $5.8 billion and contributes $13.6 billion in economic activity in Virginia.
“The National Turkey Federation applauds the efforts by the U.S. and Indian governments to significantly reduce the tariffs. This move creates an important new market for U.S. turkey producers and will give Indians more affordable access to a nutritious, delicious protein,” said Joel Brandenberger, President and CEO of National Turkey Federation. “NTF congratulates the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the leadership of USDA on this accomplishment, and we thank Senators Mark R. Warner and Thom Tillis for spearheading congressional efforts to ensure U.S. turkey growers are able to effectively compete in this fast-growing marketplace.”
Sens. Warner and Kaine have been strong proponents of lowering tariffs that harm Virginia poultry producers. In June, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, the Senators were joined by a number of their colleagues in urging Ambassador Tai to increase market access for U.S. turkey and poultry products. These products previously faced significant barriers to the Indian market due to prohibitively high tariff rates. Earlier this year, Sen. Warner also praised the end of retaliatory tariffs on apples, another major Virginia commodity.