The tariff was imposed in 2019 in retaliation for US Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminium, raising the total tariff on US apples to 70% versus 50% for all competing supply origins.
Once Washington State’s second-largest export market, shipments to India plummeted from around 8 million boxes (US$120m) in 2017/2018 to just 55,000 boxes (US$760,000) this season, according to industry data.
President of the Washington Apple Commission Todd Fryhover called the announcement a big win for trade policy and for Washington apple growers.
“The Washington apple industry has worked hard to develop the Indian market for our world-class apples, and this will help us to regain our lost market position,” said Fryhover. “Implementation is 90 days out, which aligns perfectly with the beginning of our 2023 apple crop.”
Since the tariff was imposed in 2019, Turkey, Iran and key EU apple exporting countries have become the dominant suppliers of imported apples to India during the Northern Hemisphere season. Washington State growers saw their market share drop from 53 per cent in 2017/18 to less than 1 per cent this season, according to the Washington Apple Commission, a loss of roughly US$175m.