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    Expecting India to address small trade barriers in soyabean exports, says US diplomat

    Expecting India to address small trade barriers in soyabean exports, says US diplomat

    Expecting India to address small trade barriers in soyabean exports, says US diplomat
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    By PTI  IST (Published)

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    The US diplomat said that the country is hoping that trade barriers such as high tariff structure, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India's (FSSAI) requirements for non-GM soyabean products, labelling and phytosanitary issues, are removed or reduced to facilitate soyabean trade and ease of doing business.

    The United States is expecting India to address small trade barriers and facilitate the export of non-genetically modified (non-GMO) soyabean and speciality soyabean products, a senior US diplomat said on Tuesday.
    At present, the US, which is one of the world's major producers and exporters of soyabean, is exporting annually around 15,000 tonne of soya isolate protein, a major ingredient used in value-added products in India. "We believe India has its own space in soyabean and we cannot upset the local production. However, we can demonstrate high-quality soyabean from the US that can be beneficial for Indian food processors," Mark Rosmann, US foreign agriculture service (FAS) in-charge of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, said.
    The US is hoping that trade barriers — such as high tariff structure, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India's (FSSAI) requirements for non-GM soyabean products, labelling and phytosanitary issues — are removed or reduced to facilitate soyabean trade and ease of doing business, he said.
    Asked about the trade barriers faced by the US exporters, a senior Indian official in the Food Processing Industries Ministries Sanoj Kumar Jha said, ''We have not received a formal representation on these issues yet. Once we get it, we will study it and take it up with the Commerce Ministry''.
    The Soyfood Promotion and Welfare Association has made a representation regarding phytosanitary and other issues related to trade barriers with the Union Agriculture Ministry. According to the US Soyabean Export Council (USSEC) Team Lead India Jaison John, at present, the tariff rate on the US soyabean is as high as 56.5 percent, including goods and services tax (GST) and Value added Tax (VAT), and this makes India an unviable market. Also, India allows the inward shipment of soyabean in the crushed form not in the whole form. The crushed soyabean has less shelf life and with a high tariff rate, it becomes unviable for traders, he noted.
    USSEC also said if India allows 75,000 tonnes of food-grade speciality soyabean under the tariff rate quota (TRQ), it will boost the processing of soyabean products here.
    Speciality Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) Technical Advisor for South Asia Phillip Shull said Indian soyabean is more oil-driven than food. Since soyabean is a cheaper protein and can be easily made available to the poor, the country should focus on developing value-added products for which a special variety of non-GM soyabean can be sourced from the US.
    India produces about 13-14 million tonnes of soyabean in a year.
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