India To Impose Retaliatory Tariffs On 29 U.S. Items From June 16
PM Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump. The India-U.S. retaliatory tariffs come at a time when India has a trade surplus with the U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

India To Impose Retaliatory Tariffs On 29 U.S. Items From June 16

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India will impose retaliatory tariffs on 29 U.S. items—including almonds, walnuts and pulses—from June 16, after extending the deadline for doing the same several times, government sources said Friday.

India has informed the U.S. about its decision to go ahead with the retaliatory tariffs, the sources said. The finance ministry will soon issue a notification to this effect, they added.

The retaliatory tariffs are estimated to earn India $217 million in additional revenue.

On June 21, 2018, India decided to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports after the Donald Trump administration decided to significantly hike customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products. As India is one of the major exporters of these items to the U.S., the decision resulted in $240 million revenue loss for the domestic industry.

However, India extended the deadline for imposition of these duties multiple times, hoping that some solution would emerge from India-U.S. trade talks to arrive at a consensus. Those negotiations came to a halt after U.S.’s decision to withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences programme for Indian exporters.

The GSP withdrawal came into effect on June 5 this year. It impacts goods worth $5.5 billion from India to the U.S.

Retaliatory Tariffs: What Gets Impacted

While import duty on walnut has been hiked to 120 percent from 30 percent, duty on chickpeas, Bengal Gram and masur dal will be raised to 70 percent from 30 percent at present. The levy on lentils will be increased to 40 percent.

The import duty on boric acid and binders for foundry moulds would be hiked to 7.5 percent, while that on domestic reagents will be increased to 10 percent. Duty on artemia, a kind of shrimp, will be hiked to 15 percent.

The other products on which duties will be hiked include certain kind of nuts, iron and steel products, apples, pears, flat-rolled products of stainless steel, other alloy steel, tube and pipe fittings, and screws, bolts and rivets.

India has also dragged the U.S. to the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium. India exports steel and aluminium products worth about $1.5 billion to the U.S. every year.

India's exports to the U.S. in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were at $26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.

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