India marked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the White House and Capitol Hill by agreeing to cut tariffs that it imposed on some U.S. farm goods five years ago in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Indian steel and aluminum imports, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Thursday.

India, within 90 days will remove the retaliatory tariffs it placed on chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts and apples, USTR said in a statement.

“Today’s agreement represents the culmination of intensified bilateral engagement over the last two years, including through the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, to deepen our economic and trade ties,” said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.  “As a result of our work, U.S. agricultural producers and manufacturers will now enjoy renewed access to a critical global market and we will strengthen our trade relationship with one of our closest partners.

The U.S. will keep in place its tariffs on Indian steel and aluminum.

The Thursday announcement, which came as Modi was preparing to address Congress, was lauded quickly by lawmakers and farm groups.

“Today’s agreement is a major win for Washington’s apple growers who rely on selling their fruit overseas to make ends meet,” said Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash. 

India raised its tariffs on U.S. apples by 20% in 2018, pushing the country’s overall tariffs on the fruit to a whopping 70% - enough to sharply curtail U.S. exports.

“U.S. apple growers can now begin the work of competing for, and hopefully regaining, this critical market,” said U.S. Apple Association President and CEO Jim Bair. “We look forward to once again shipping great apples to this valued trading partner.”

India also hit U.S. walnut and almond exporters with a 20% tariff in 2018 and industry representatives expressed relief over India’s tariff removals.

“Indian consumers and trade partners continue to recognize the premium quality of California walnuts and the nutritional value and great taste they bring to the Indian diet, said Pam Graviet, senior director of global programs for the California Walnut Commission. “Elimination of India’s retaliatory tariffs will benefit Indian consumers and businesses, as well as the California walnut industry.” 

India may have reversed its retaliation on U.S. walnuts, but its tariffs are still high. India maintains a 100% tariff on all walnut imports. The U.S. currently faces 120% tariffs, but that will drop back down to 100% as soon as the India implements the reduction.

“We’re now on a level playing field even though the tariffs are crazy high,” Graviet told Agri-Pulse.