Dec 26, 2023Georgia senator pushes customs and border protection
U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff has pushed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to help Georgia farmers sell more produce, including pecans.
In October, Sen. Ossoff launched an inquiry with CBP urging them to begin collecting assessments on imported pecans, which funds domestic programs aimed at boosting sales of American pecans and leveling the playing field for domestic producers of pecans.
Last summer, Sens. Ossoff and Marco Rubio (R-FL) led a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers urging U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to follow through on a promise by the Biden Administration to help Southeastern seasonal producers affected by unfair trade practices, according to a news release from senator Ossoff’s office.
Sen. Ossoff also heard directly from farmers and growers in Georgia about the needs of their industries and how he can best fight for them in the Senate.
Last year, Sen. Ossoff met with Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Sarah Bianchi, who agreed at his urging to put reducing India’s high pecan tariffs at the top of the U.S.-India trade agenda.
Earlier this year, following Sen. Ossoff’s push, the Republic of India announced a major 70% cut to tariffs on U.S. pecan exports, a big win for Georgia farmers, according to the release.
The American Pecan Promotion Board (APPB) is funded by these collected assessments, but CBP had not yet begun collecting assessments on imported pecans at the time of Sen. Ossoff’s inquiry.
Now, at Sen. Ossoff’s request, CBP has begun collecting these assessments, which will now help the APPB strengthen the Pecan Research and Promotion Program (PRPP), created in 2021 to maintain and expand markets for pecans, according to the release.
“Effective implementation of this program is essential to the success of the pecan industry in Georgia and across our nation, and the most efficient collection of import assessments is through CBP,” Sen. Ossoff wrote. “However, this cannot occur until CBP implements its new automatic collection system, which has been delayed on multiple occasions. I therefore urge you to stand up the new system as soon as possible.”
Sen. Ossoff continues to be a strong advocate for Georgia’s pecan growers, according to the release.
Elected in 2021, Ossoff serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Judiciary; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and Rules Committees. He also serves as Chair of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Human Rights.