RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Turkey’s aren’t just big birds, they’re big business in North Carolina. In 2022, the state’s turkey production topped $1 billion.
“Right now, North Carolina sells a lot of its birds to Mexico but being able to open this up will be great for North Carolina farmers,” said Gov. Roy Cooper.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported none of the state’s $1 billion in product went to India in 2022. That’s partly due to India’s pricey 30% tariff on U.S. turkey exports. India has now agreed to reduce the tariff to 5%.
North Carolina accounts for 10% of turkey exports to the rest of the world and that could be increasing with this reduction in tariffs.
“If we can open more doors across the world, then that will help our farmers here and help the North Carolina economy,” Cooper said.
Cooper visited N.C. State’s Turkey Education Unit to celebrate the new opportunity with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. She helped negotiate the deal to bring export costs down.
“I think that it will also be an opportunity for the United States and North Carolina in particular to showcase turkeys and turkey meat to the people of India,” Tai said.
The impact on American consumers is still unclear. CBS 17’s Judith Retana asked Tai if the deal would have any impact on what North Carolinians pay for turkey products.
Tai responded by saying, “I guess we’ll see. I think that what we really want to see is that this helps to grow the turkey industry and produce benefits here so that our producers can be larger parts of the community.”
She said the deal could help address food insecurity in the places like India and added her office is continuing to work on more deals like this in the future.
“I hope there are many more in the making here,” said Cooper.
As part of the deal, tariffs on frozen duck, fresh blueberries and cranberries, frozen blueberries and cranberries, dried blueberries and cranberries, and processed blueberries and cranberries have also been reduced.