India issues new tariffs on 28 American products, creating uneasiness for farmers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- India opened a new front on the trade war by increasing tariffs on 28 products. Some are grown in the valley.

Darren Rigg of the Minturn Nut Company ships almonds around the globe, and he says the tariffs hit the walnut industry hard.

"It started last year. They put a 100 percent duty rate on them," he said. "They moved it up to 120 percent, so that pretty much boxed them out of the market."

California grows 80 percent of the world's almonds with most of the orchards in the valley.

Ryan Jacobsen of the Fresno County Farm Bureau says in 2017, India bought $658 million worth of almonds and $61 million worth of walnuts.

"Specifically when it comes to almonds, about 15 percent of exports are headed just toward India so very significant when it comes to one of our major destinations," he said.

Senator Dianne Feinstein tweeted India has placed a 75 percent tariff on almonds in response to President Trump's trade war.

Rigg says that's not the case. Buyers in India tell him the almond tariff is minimal.

"It's really not going to affect consumption because it's only being implemented at the margins," he said. "4.5 cents on a $2.10 per pound. Kind of a commercial level price really doesn't work out to much."

But Rigg added the tariff on fresh apples increased to 75 percent.

Farmers say they're hopeful the bickering over trade with India and China ends soon because ag products always seem to be involved.
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