While the US and India are engaged in a trade tussle, Kerala is expected to take a dent from the collateral damage as the US is a major destination for commodity products originating from the Cochin Port.
Data from the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that in 2018, various commodities weighing 1.5 lakh tonnes were exported to the US through the Cochin Port. Goods weighing 1.7 lakh tonnes were also imported through the Port in the same period.
“Region-wise, the US is the second largest export destination for Cochin Port, after the EU. During the good old days, among various regions, the US was the largest market. That was when cashew, tea and coffee exports from Kochi were high. We used to carry thousands and thousands tonnes of pepper and coffee, but, now the market has shifted a lot to Vietnam and other places,” said a member of the shipping fraternity, on condition of anonymity.
Norbert Karikkassery, national treasurer, Seafood Exporters’ Association of India, said that seafood wouldn’t be affected by the removal of India from the GSP programme of US.
“Fish and fishery products, which come under chapter 3 of Harmonized System of World Customs Organisation, are not subject to the GSP regime,” he said.
However, twelve spices from India are going to be affected by the GSP withdrawal, said industry sources. According to Jojan Malayil, CEO of spice exporting firm Bafna Enterprises, the spices that are going to be affected are red peppers, sesame, cumin, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, curry leaves, fennel, celery, coriander, dill and nigella.