India has agreed to allow imports of US pork and pork products while the US has permitted India to resume export of Indian mangoes to that country after it remained restricted since 2020. The US has been trying for several years to gain access for its pork products in India while mango exports to the US got stuck after USDA inspectors were unable to visit India for inspection of irradiation facility due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions.
Access for US pork was one of the issues raised by United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai during her visit to India to participate in the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum held in New Delhi in November 2021.
In a statement issued by the USTR, Tai said that India’s agreement to allow U.S. pork imports for the first time is great news for U.S. producers and for Indian consumers. “We will continue working to strengthen the U.S.-India trade relationship and I appreciate Minister Goyal’s efforts to facilitate this important development,” Tai stated.
United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the decision marks the culmination of nearly two decades of work to gain market access for U.S. pork to India. “We will continue working with the Indian government to ensure that the U.S. pork industry can begin shipping its high-quality products to consumers as soon as possible,” Vilsack said.
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 $7.7 billion. In fiscal year 2021, the United States exported more than $1.6 billion of agricultural products to India.
In a separate statement, union Commerce Ministry said that India will now be able to export mangoes to the US in the mango season commencing with the Alphonso variety of mangoes by March 2022 onwards. “There is a huge acceptance and consumer preference of Indian mangoes in the USA as India had exported 800 Metric Tonnes (MTs) of mangoes to the USA in 2017-18 and the export value of the fruit was $2.75 Million. Similarly, in 2018-19, 951 MT mangoes of $3.63 Million were exported to USA and 1,095 MT of $4.35 Million of mangoes were export to USA in 2019-20. The export of mangoes in 2022, may surpass the figures of 2019-20,” the commerce ministry statement said.
The USDA approval would pave the way for exports from traditional mango production belts such as Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said that this would also provide an opportunity for the export of other delicious varieties of mangoes from North and East India such as Langra, Chausa, Dushehri, Fazli, etc from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.