Governor Gregoire and a delegation of fifty business people representing different sectors from Washington state’s economy, including a contingent from the agriculture arena, will be headed to India and Korea the first part of October on a trade mission. WSDA’s Jason Kelly explains why there, why now.
KELLY: Well, Washington agriculture really depends on export markets. Washington food companies exported more than $8 billion in food to overseas markets. India, as one of our trade mission participants calls it, is the new food frontier.
Palouse dried peas, chickpeas and lentils are already popular in India, but Kelly says another Washington product is also popular there.
KELLY: Surprisingly, apples are doing very well in India - it’s our number three export market. We already send 4 million boxes a year to India and that’s despite a fifty percent tariff. It’s important that we talk to those Indian trade officials about their high import duties. If those import duties come down, we know that we can grow that market substantially. So we think there’s some real benefits - two way trading benefits - to reducing tariffs on Washington state agriculture products in India.
With the approval of the U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement earlier this year some tariffs there were eliminated immediately, and Kelly says Korea, while a mature market for Washington state exporters, offers even greater opportunities now for Washington potato products and other agriculture products.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.In