Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

India to impose retaliatory tariffs on 28 US goods from Sunday

Move comes following Washington's withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi Move comes following Washington's withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi
Patty Aguilar | 16 June, 2019, 15:37

The increased taxes have been imposed on products including almond, pulses and walnuts, the news agency reported, citing a late Saturday release government notice.

From June 5, President Trump scrapped trade privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for India, the biggest beneficiary of a scheme that allowed duty-free exports of up to $5.6 billion.

An earlier list had also listed a 29th item - artemia, a type of shrimp - but this was removed.

The government had on June 21, 2018 chose to impose these duties in retaliation to the United States decision of significantly hiking customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.

The proposed action, which comes a year after the notification for the duties was first drafted in June 2018, is in response to penal duties imposed on Indian aluminium and steel at 10 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, by Washington last year. Earlier, there was no duty on these goods.

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India on Friday has made a decision to impose retaliatory tariffs on 29 United States products worth $235 million after Donald Trump administration on March 23, 2018, applied a 25 percent tariff to all USA steel imports and a 10 percent tariff to all U.S. aluminium imports, citing an investigation that showed national security concerns. It will impact goods worth Dollars 5.5 billion from India to America.

India is now looking at adopting the higher tariffs, the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, although the USA has warned that any retaliatory tariffs by India would not be "appropriate" under WTO rules. While import duty on walnut has been raised to 120% from 30%, that on chickpeas, Bengal gram and masur dal has been increased to 70%.

Tariffs on almonds, for example, will go up about 20% under the new rules - but that translates into a wholesale price increase of about 4.5 cents per pound for almonds in the shell, according to industry officials.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is expected to visit India this month, said this week the US was open to dialogue to resolve trade differences with India through greater access for American companies to its markets. Trade between them stood at about $142.1 billion in 2018. The trade balance is in favour of India.

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