Mon, Jun 17, 2019 - Page 5 News List

India imposes new tariffs on US goods

TRADE FRONT:The import duty was raised on 28 items ranging from phosphoric acid to chickpeas ‘in the public interest,’ with the duty on walnuts rising from 30% to 120%


India imposed higher customs duties on a raft of US goods, effective yesterday, in response to similar measures taken by Washington, according to a government notice.

The increased charges have been imposed on 28 products including chickpeas, phosphoric acid, apples, almonds and walnuts, according to the notice released late on Saturday by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.

The list initially included 29 goods, but artemia, a kind of shrimp, has been removed from the list.

The country would get about US$217 million in additional revenue from the higher tariffs, the Press Trust of India reported.

The move follows US President Donald Trump’s decision on June 1 to end trade concessions on US$5.7 billion of goods India shipped to the US as of 2017. These include imitation jewelry, leather products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and plastics and some farm items.

The Indian government said that “it is necessary in the public interest” to impose the higher tariffs, the statement said.

The move comes just days ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo aimed at deepening defense and energy ties between the two nations.

Trade tensions have been building with the US decision to withdraw India’s preferential trade status.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative told The Hindu newspaper that it had no comment when asked to respond to media reports last week that the US was considering launching an investigation into India trade practices.

However, the office said that it continued to raise market-access concerns, the report said.

India last year announced higher tariffs on a clutch of items in retaliation for the US imposing higher levies on some products shipped from it, mirroring steps taken by China and the EU, but New Delhi repeatedly deferred imposition of the new tariffs as it kept the door open for talks to avoid a dispute.

India is the No. 2 market of California almonds and Washington apples.

According to the new tariffs, import duty on walnuts has been hiked to from 30 to 120 percent and on chickpeas and lentils it has been raised from 30 to 70 percent.

The trade row is likely to be taken up when Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet at the G20 summit at the end of this month in Osaka, Japan.

US trade with India last year stood at an estimated US$142.1 billion, while the US trade deficit with India was US$24.2 billion.

Additional reporting by AFP

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