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India to allow in imports of US pork and products, say US officials


US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and India's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, poses for a picture before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, India November 22, 2021. ― Reuters file pic
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, poses for a picture before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, India November 22, 2021. ― Reuters file pic

WASHINGTON, Jan 11 ― India has agreed to allow imports of US pork and pork products into India, removing a longstanding barrier to US agricultural trade, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said yesterday.

“India’s agreement to allow US pork imports for the first time is great news for U.S. producers and for Indian consumers,” Tai said in a statement.

Vilsack said Washington was working to ensure the US pork industry could start shipping products to India as soon as possible. He said the deal marked the culmination of two decades of seeking market access for US pork to India.

In 2020, the United States was the world’s third-largest pork producer and second-largest exporter, with global sales of pork and pork products valued at US$7.7 billion (RM32.35 billion). In fiscal year 2021, the United States exported more than US$1.6 billion of agricultural products to India.

At a revived U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum in New Delhi last November, India and the United States agreed to expand trade of some agricultural products, including US cherries, alfalfa and distiller dried grains as well as Indian mangoes, grapes, shrimp and water buffalo meat.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Joe Biden in Washington in September and both leaders agreed to expand trade ties to strengthen relations between the world’s largest and richest democracies.

India is still pressing for restoration of its beneficiary status under the Generalized System of Preferences, the US programme that provides some tariff-free access for imports from developing countries that expired at the end of 2020. ― Reuters

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