Hoeven Urges Agriculture Secretary & U.S. Trade Representative to Push Back Against India's Dry Pea Tariff, Provide Relief to Ag Producers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, recently urged Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to provide relief to impacted agriculture producers by pushing back against India’s decision to impose a 50 percent tariff on dry pea imports. India is the top export market for U.S. dry peas, and this action has forced hardship on exporters with shipments en route to India and severely impacted crop prices in the U.S. The full text of the bipartisan letter, led by Steve Daines (R-Mont.), can be found here

“Without warning, India has taken a drastic action against our nation’s dry pea industry,” Hoeven said. “This will have serious, long-term consequences for our producers if relief is not provided. That’s why we are calling on Secretary Perdue and Ambassador Lighthizer to pursue solutions that will bring stability to the dry pea market and help our farmers navigate this difficult situation.”

As Governor of North Dakota and now as U.S. Senator, Hoeven has worked to secure access to new markets for the state’s ag producers and ensure fair treatment of the nation’s farmers and ranchers. Hoeven recently announced the lifting of trade restrictions on U.S. pork in Argentina and beef in China. This follows Hoeven and a bipartisan group of senators pressing the administration to reach an agreement with China on imports of U.S. beef. The senator also urged Secretary Perdue and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to reach a sugar agreement with Mexico that is fair to American farmers and ensure its strict enforcement.

In addition, Hoeven met with Ted McKinney, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, during his recent confirmation process. The senator stressed the importance of trade in creating strong prices for producers and how agriculture provides a positive balance of trade for the nation. Hoeven served as a member of the Senate-House Conference Committee that crafted the final farm bill of 2014, which directed USDA to create the undersecretary of trade position.