Employees use sewing machines on a production line at the CBC Fashions Pvt. factory in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

India Signals Trade War Truce as U.S. Ramps Up Tariffs on China

(Bloomberg) -- India again deferred the imposition of retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. imports, signaling its readiness to find a solution to avert a trade war in contrast to the path China has taken.

The tariff plan has been deferred to Nov. 2, according to a notification from the finance ministry. New Delhi had previously planned to levy higher tariffs effective Aug. 4, but they were delayed until Sept. 18 as the two sides held meetings to avoid a full-blown trade war.

The move comes even as China announced it will retaliate against the U.S.’s plan to impose a 10 percent tariff on about $200 billion in Chinese goods next week. That’s a stark contrast to how the Trump administration is dealing with India: the U.S. is willing to exempt Indian steel and aluminum from tariffs with some conditions, local media reported Tuesday.

India’s original tariff plan would have included walnuts, almonds, boric acid, apples, diagnostic reagents and some hot-rolled coil products from the U.S. in response to Trump’s 25 percent and 10 percent duties on steel and aluminum, respectively.

India exported a total 9.6 million tons of finished steel in the year ended March 2018, according to government data. Exports of the commodity during April-July slumped 33.5 percent from a year ago to 1.87 million tons, while imports have risen 6 percent to 2.66 million tons, according to provisional data from the steel ministry.

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