Washington: A top US Senator has slammed President Donald Trump for "damaging" trade ties with India, saying his actions are hurting California almond growers who export more than $650 million worth of nuts to the country every year.
California Senator Dianne Feinstein's criticism of the US President came days after India announced a hike in customs duties on as many as 28 US products, including almond, pulses and walnut, in response to higher tariffs imposed by Washington on Indian products like steel and aluminium.
"India just placed a 75 per cent tariff on almonds in response to President Trump's trade war. His actions are hurting Californians.
"California almond exports to India are worth more than $650 million a year. The president must stop damaging trade relations with our allies," Senator Feinstein said.
Almond growers in the US are a worried lot as authorities last month predicted a record California almond crop for the upcoming production year.
According to the Almond alliance of California, its almond export is being badly hit by retaliatory tariffs from both China and India.
California almond orchards are expected to produce 2.50 billion pounds of nuts this year, up 8.69 per cent from last year's 2.30 billion-pound crop, it said.
India's exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were at $26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.