Reduction of Pistachio Tariff in Japan
In 1981, Japan granted Iran Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which would reduce the tariff on Iranian pistachios from 20% to zero. CPC immediately implemented a program to lobby Japan to reduce the tariff on U.S. pistachios, as well. After several trips to Japan, the tariff was reduced to zero duty and 5% on roasted.
U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA) 1984
CPC urged U.S. negotiators to push for an immediate zero tariff for U.S. pistachios. The negotiators did, and Israel agreed. Most other tariffs were reduced over ten years. However, Israel now imports Iranian pistachios (18% tariff), even though there is an embargo against Iran. The importers claim they are Turkish pistachios, and that they enter at zero or low duty.
CPC Participates in the Creation of the Targeted Export Assistance Program (TEA)
In 1986, the CPC participated in a coalition of agricultural groups to push for the creation of the Targeted Export Assistance Program (TEA), which later became the Market Promotion Program (MPP), and now is known as the Market Access Program (MAP). (Each year CPC works to ensure that this program is funded by Congress.) Since the inception of TEA, the CPC has received $13,500,000 from the program.
U.S.-Canada FTA 1988
CPC was successful in securing an immediate zero tariff for U.S. pistachios. Most other tariffs were reduced over ten years.
U.S.-Mexico FTA 1993
CPC was successful in securing an immediate zero pistachio tariff, whereas other crops had to wait up to 5, 10, or 15 years to receive a zero tariff.
Uruguay Round 1994
The average tariff reduction in the Uruguay Round was to be 36%. CPC received a 50% reduction from the European Union and 40% from Japan.
China’s WTO Membership
In order for a country to become a member of the WTO, it must make trade concessions to the WTO membership. As part of China’s concession, it is phasing the pistachio tariff from 40% to 10%. In preparation of the 2008 Olympic Games, the government of China reduced the tariff to 5% and continues to maintain the reduced rate.
U.S.-Chilean FTA 2002
U.S. pistachios received an immediate zero tariff.
U.S. raw pistachios received an immediate zero tariff for all CAFTA countries. U.S. roasted pistachios received an immediate zero tariff for all countries expect Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s current tariff is 15% and will be subject to a 10 year phase-out.
The Doha Round that was to be completed at the end of 2004 continues to be delayed. WPA’s objective is to focus on all countries’ tariffs.
U.S. pistachios received an immediate zero tariff.
U.S. pistachios received an immediate zero tariff.
CPC has worked with USDA in setting grade standards in the UN - Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE).
U.S. -Israel Free Trade Agreement
After the signing of the U.S. -Israel Free Trade Agreement the U.S. saw only moderate improvements in pistachio exports to Israel. This was mainly due to Iranian pistachios entering Israel through Turkey where they were relabeled as Turkish pistachios. In late 2008, WPA convinced the Israeli government to increase the tariff on all pistachios entering Israel to 23% and provide Turkey with a 200MT tariff rate quota. This increase effectively barred all pistachios from entering Israel except the U.S. due to its duty-free treatment under the free trade agreement. The tariff increase went into effect in early 2009 and the U.S. market share increased immediately from 195 MT in 2008 to 4,572MT in 2010.
U.S. -Mexican Pistachio Trade
The U.S. pistachio industry’s success in reducing the pistachio tariff in Mexico under NAFTA, Mexico was estimated to be a $10 million market. However, due to under-invoicing of Iran pistachios by Mexican Customs officials, the U.S. tariff advantage became limited. Through the efforts of WPA, in 2008 Mexico eliminated the practice of under-invoicing. The U.S. currently exports approximately $15-20 million of pistachios to Mexico annually.
India Tariff Reduction
In 2000, under the direction of CPC the U.S. pistachio industry became submitting letters and visiting with Indian official in New Delhi to request a lowering of the India pistachio tariff. In 2003 the government of India reduced the tariff from 40% to 32.5%. Efforts to lower the tariff to 10% continued and February 2011 the Indian government lowered the tariff to 10%.
U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
U.S. pistachios will receive an immediate zero tariff once the agreement is signed into law.
U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
U.S. pistachios will receive an immediate zero tariff once the agreement is signed into law.
U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement
U.S. raw pistachios will receive an immediate zero tariff and a ten year phase-out for roasted pistachios once the agreement is signed into law.
8e Import Regulation for Aflatoxin
The USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service on September 26, 2012 implemented a mandatory import regulation that aflatoxin levels for imported pistachios be limited to 15 parts per billion, and that they be accompanied with an aflatoxin inspection certificate issued by an accredited laboratory.
In November 1979, Iranian demonstrators took U.S. Embassy officials and other U.S. citizens hostage. In response, President Jimmy Carter imposed an embargo on Iranian trade. At that time, the U.S. imported approximately 25 million pounds of Iranian pistachios, and U.S. production was just 17.2 million pounds. In early 1981, the U.S. entered into the Algerian Trade Accord (Accord) with Iran, and trade between the two countries was once again allowed. Following the Accord, imports from Iran increased steadily. In 1981, the U.S. imported 3 million pounds of Iranian pistachios.
U.S. Customs’s Rule on Substantial Transformation
In 1985, the CPC petitioned U.S. Customs to change the agency’s rule on substantial transformation. At that time, the Agency’s rule stated that roasting was a substantial transformation of the raw pistachio, which would have allowed Iranian pistachios roasted in the U.S. to be labeled as “Product of U.S.” The Agency accepted the Commission’s recommendation for a change in the rule. The revised rule was appealed to the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”), but CPC’s rule was upheld.
CPC Files Antidumping (AD) and Countervailing Duty (CVD) Petitions Against Iran
In 1985, the U.S was importing 34 million pounds of Iranian pistachios. At that time, the U.S. industry found that the Iranians were providing countervailable subsidies for their pistachios and believed that the Iranians were dumping (selling at less than the price in Iran) their pistachios in the U.S. In response, the CPC filed Antidumping (AD) and Countervailing Duty (CVD) petitions before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The combined AD/CVD petition resulted in a duty of 283%. (In crop year 1984/85 there were approximately 34 million pounds of Iranian pistachios imported.)
CPC Files Countervailing Duty Petition on Roasted Pistachios
In June 1986, Iranian exporters started to export roasted pistachios in an effort to avoid paying the 283% duty on raw pistachios. The industry filed a countervailing duty petition on roasted pistachios, and in October 1986, the ITA ruled in the California industry’s favor and imposed a 318% duty on roasted pistachios. The industry chose to seek a CVD because under the CVD law, injury does not have to be proven. Under AD law, on the other hand, injury must be proven. Since there was an insufficient amount of roasted pistachios imported, CPC could not prove injury and relied on the CVD laws to keep Iranian roasted pistachios out of the U.S.
Reagan Imposes Embargo
In November 1987, President Reagan imposed an embargo on all trade with Iran, once again cutting off all trade with Iran.
RPPC Asks for Administrative Review of the CVD on Raw Pistachios
In 1988, the RPPC asked the DOC to initiate an Administrative Review of the CVD on raw pistachios from Iran. CPC opposed this effort, and the DOC decided not to initiate the Administrative Review.
RPPC asks for Administrative Review of the CVD on Roasted Pistachios
In 1991, the RPPC asked the DOC to initiate an Administrative Review of the CVD on roasted pistachios from Iran. This time, however, the DOC agreed to initiate. CPC opposed RPPC’s efforts. After ITA conducted an investigation, this Administrative Review was rescinded.
CPC Obtains Delay for Sunset Review
Under the 1995 Uruguay Round, all AD and CVD orders were required to undergo “Sunset Reviews” within 5 years of passage of the Uruguay Round implementing legislation. In 1998, the DOC published the schedule for Sunset Reviews, but noted that because of the embargo on imports from Iran, the DOC would not schedule the Sunset Review of the AD order on pistachios from Iran. CPC’s CVD orders would not be subjected to the Sunset Review, only the AD order.
Iranian Embargo Partially Lifted
President Reagan’s 1987 embargo remained in place until 2002 when President Bill Clinton removed the embargo on certain products, including pistachios. Almost immediately, Iranian interests began challenging the unfair trade duties (discussed in detail below). CPC has actively and vigorously opposed every one of the Iranian petitions.
IRANIAN PETITIONS SINCE REMOVAL OF EMBARGO
NOTE: Underlined petitions have been CLOSED or COMPLETED by the Department of Commerce
(1) Changed Circumstances Review of AD Duty Order (7/1/99-6/30/00)
Cyrus Marketing requested review on July 24, 2000 On September 7, 2000, the DOC decided not to initiate
(2) Changed Circumstances Review of the CVD Orders on Raw and Roasted Pistachios (No Period Of Review Stated)
Cyrus Marketing requested review on July 24, 2000 On September 8, 2000, the DOC decided not to initiate
(3) Administrative Review of AD Duty Order (7/1/99-6/30/00)
Cyrus Marketing requested review on July 24, 2000 Initiated September 6, 2000 Rescinded April 10, 2001
(4) New Shipper Review of AD Duty Order (7/1/00-12/31/00)
Nima requested review on January 20, 2001 On March 9, 2001, the DOC decided not to initiate
(5)New Shipper Review of the CVD Orders on Raw and Roasted Pistachios (1/1/00-12/31/00)
Nima requested reviews of these orders on January 20, 2001 On April 30, 2001, the DOC decided not to initiate
(6) Administrative Review of AD Duty Order (7/1/00-6/30/01)
Cyrus Marketing requested review on July 11, 2001 Initiated August 20, 2001 Rescinded August 7, 2002
(7) New Shipper Review of AD Duty Order (7/1/00-6/30/01)
Nima requested review on July 31, 2001 Initiated October 10, 2001 On August 6, 2002, the DOC preliminarily determined a margin of 120.04% for Nima Hearing held - December 12, 2002 On December 26, 2002, the DOC issued Final Results - 144.05%
(8) New Shipper Review of the CVD Orders on Raw and Roasted Pistachios (10/1/00-9/30/01)
Nima requested a review on September 18, 2001 On September 4, 2002, the DOC issued its Preliminary Results with a margin of 0.0% for Nima CAL-PURE files Entry of Appearance in October. From November 12-November 18, 2002, DOC conducted a verification and issued a verification report on December 4, 2002 Hearing held - January 13, 2003 On January 31, 2003, DOC issued Final Results - 23.18% on raw and 21.68% on roasted pistachios NOTE: These duties only apply to Nima Trading Company AND they only apply to pistachios purchased from Fallah Pistachio, which has production of approximately 45,000 pounds. Also, raw pistachios are covered by both the above 23.18% subsidy duty AND the original 144.05% antidumping duty for a combined duty of 167.23%.
(9) Administrative Review of the CVD Order on Roasted Pistachios (1/1/00 – 12/31/00)
Nima requested review on October 31, 2001 On November 27, 2001, the DOC decided not to initiate
(10) Administrative Review of the CVD Order on Raw Pistachios (1/1/01-12/31/01)
Cyrus Marketing requested a review on March 22, 2002 On April 24, 2002, DOC initiated the Administrative Review. The DOC has indicated it will perform a verification in this investigation - the date has not been set On April 4, 2003, DOC issued Preliminary Results - 49.77% on all raw, inshell pistachio imports. On July, 11, 2003, DOD issued Final Results - 49.77% on all, raw, inshell pistachio imports. NOTE: While the duty was reduced in this case from 99.52%, there was no finding of export subsidy. Accordingly, the duty, when combined with the existing AD duty, actually increased for Cyrus Marketing. The duty went from 241.14% to 290.91%.
(11) Administrative Review of the AD Duty on Raw Pistachios (7/01/01-6/30/02)
CPC requested a review of Nima on July 31, 2002 Cyrus Marketing requested a review of RPPC on July 31, 2002 On August 27, 2002, DOC initiated both reviews Nima claims they had no sales during the period of review. If true, the DOC will rescind the review as to Nima RPPC’s sale was on June 8, 2002, and it has responded to the initial questionnaires On March 5, 2003, CPC withdrew its request as to Nima because there were no sales On March 19, 2003, Cyrus withdrew its request for and Administrative Review On April 7, 2003, DOC rescinded both reviews
(12) Administrative Review of the CVD Order on Roasted Pistachios
CPC requested a review of Nima on October 31, 2002 The DOC agreed to initiate a review on November 22, 2002 There was no indication any roasted pistachios were imported during the period of review CPC requested to withdrew its request for the AR on March 5, 2003 On March 26, 2003, DOC rescinded the review
(13) Administrative Review of the CVD Order on Raw Pistachios
CPC requested a review of RPPC on March 31, 2003 The DOC agreed to initiate a review on April 16, 2003 CPC requested to withdraw its review request on July 9, 2003 DOC rescinded the review on July 25, 2003
(14) Administrative Review of the AD Duty on Raw Pistachios (7/1/02-6/30/03)
Nima requested a Review on July 31, 2003 DOC initiated a review on August 22, 2003 Preliminary Results are due sometime between April 2, 2004 (if no extensions) and July 31, 2004 (if fully extended) Final Results are due sometime at the end of 2004 and early 2005.
(15) Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty on Raw Pistachios (2003)
Requested by Nima Trading Company Final Results - September 7, 2005 - 0.00% combination rate (Nima/Razi)
(16) Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty on Roasted Pistachios (2003)
Requested by Nima Trading Company Preliminary Results published on November 7, 2005 - 0.00% combination rate Final Results published on May 12, 2006 - 0.00% combination rate (Nima/Razi) CPC files appeal of Final Results - June 2006 Appeal withdrawn by CPC - November 27, 2006
(17) Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty on Raw Pistachios (2004)
Requested by California Pistachio Commission - March 2005 Preliminary Results published on February 22, 2006 - 71.10% combination rate Final Results published June 29, 2006 - 71.10% combination rate.
(18) Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty on Roasted Pistachios (2004)
This review was be requested by the CPC on October 31, 2005 Preliminary Results were published on July 7, 2006 - 66.50% combination rate. Final results are expected by the end of the year.
(19) Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty on Raw Pistachios
Initiated March 2005 DOC rules to in CPC’s favor. Unanimous vote (6-0) by U.S. ITC maintain order.
(20) Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty on Roasted Pistachios (2005)
Requested by California Pistachio Commission - October 13, 2006 Initiated by DOC on November 27, 2006.
New Shipper Review
A provision supported by the CPC to eliminate fraud with reference to imports was included in a new law adopted in July of 2006. In 1986 many importers imported Iranian pistachios, and when the final unfair trade duty was established the importers disappeared and U.S. Customs could not collect the duties. This new law will require the posting of a cash deposit rather than a bond, and this should prevent traders from evading the payment of duties.
FDA Sample Procedures for Aflatoxin Testing
In 1985, the CPC petitioned the FDA to amend the sample procedures for the aflatoxin test. FDA had been removing stained and damaged nuts prior to testing under the misguided assumption that consumers would not eat these nuts. Based on extensive consumer information developed by CPC, FDA accepted CPC’s sampling amendment.
Capitalization of Pistachio Development Expenses
CPC pushed for language in the Tax Act of 1986 that would require the capitalization of pistachio development expenses. Congress adopted the capitalization amendment. In 1987, the CPC voted to ask Congress to repeal the amendment, and Congress repealed the amendment.
Botryosphaeria Section 18
CPC was instrumental in writing and obtaining Section 18 registrations for fungicides aimed at treating the Botryosphaeria outbreak for the 5 years until an effective fungicide (Abound) was registered. In 1995 and 1996, a Section 18 was written and approved for Rovral (iprodione). In 1997, shortly before the compound was needed, EPA raised concerns with iprodione. CPC worked to rapidly find an alternative, and obtained permission for the use of tebuconazole (Elite). Those Section 18s were maintained for 1998 and 1999.
CPC and its consultant worked with IR-4 and EPA to remove the main barrier to obtaining new registrations for pistachios - the need to have residue data on pistachios to set a tolerance. Now data for almonds alone suffices to obtain a new registration, allowing registrants to conduct residue trials on almonds and use the data for pistachio registrations.
CPC worked on developments in the regulatory arena for pesticides, such as the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (1996 to present). CPC was instrumental in ensuring that EPA used better usage data in organophosphate risk assessments and understood the vital necessity of maintaining the use of Guthion (azinphos-methyl) and Imidan (phosmet) to the industry. Without those communications, the uses of those pesticides would have been lost.
In September 1997, the European Union informed Iran that an embargo would be placed on all pistachios entering from Iran. The CPC immediately took the opportunity to promote California pistachios in Europe. The CPC contacted numerous EU member states’ health officials to demonstrate why the California pistachios were superior to the Iranian pistachios. It arranged to have the EC aflatoxin expert visit California pistachio facilities. Since 1997, California pistachios have benefitted from increased pistachio sales to Europe.
Recognizing the new pistachio food safety concern with aflatoxin, the California Pistachio Board was created. To make the industry more competitive, the Board worked with the Science and Technology Office, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), USDA, to have industry laboratories accredited.
CPC has been monitoring the developments in aflatoxin for years. It has worked with FDA in developing the U.S. position for international settings, such as the Codex Committee for Food Additives and Contaminants.
In parallel, CPC has been monitoring the aflatoxin situation in Canada and Mexico to help educate U.S. regulators, should Iranian pistachios arrive in the U.S. These efforts have paid off with increased scrutiny of Iranian pistachios by the Canadian officials.