India hikes customs duty on 30 items imported from US

Narendra Modi Donald Trump

While Indian PM Narendra Modi wants free trade US President Donald Trump is looking at imposing tariffs

India has said the duty imposed by the USA has affected steel exports by $198.6 million and aluminium shipments by $42.4 million.

Import duty on diagnostic reagents has been doubled to 20 per cent, while binders for foundry moulds has been hiked to 17.5 per cent. Flat-rolled products of iron have been raised to 27.50 per cent from 15 per cent earlier, while certain flat-rolled products on stainless steel would now attract 22.50 per cent duty as against 15 per cent earlier.

The decision to hike duties is in retaliation to the unilateral increase in tariff by the U.S. on certain steel and aluminium products earlier this year which had tariff implication of Dollars 241 million on India.

India now raised import duties on the commodity by 20 percent, a government order said.

India finalized its decision during a week when the global trade war escalated, with the United States enacting $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, and the European Union imposing $3 billion in levies on such products as US -made bourbon, peanut butter and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Trade differences between India and the United States have been rising since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

In a tit-for-tat move, the government has raised customs duties on a slew of goods including lentils, Bengal gram, steel and iron imported from the United States.

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New Delhialso imposed a 120 percent duty on the import of walnuts in the strongest action yet against the United States. Sources said out of 30 items proposed, India has "excluded motorbikes above 800 cc". "India wishes to clarify that suspension of concessions shall be equivalent to the amount of trade affected by United States' measures". This measure was targeted at Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The revenue department, which notified the rate changes, however, spared high-end motorcycles from a duty increase, a move that will benefit Harley-Davidson.

Last week, commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu had said India and the United States have agreed to a detailed discussion to address New Delhi's concerns, following his meeting with top trade officials in the Trump administration.

These motorcycles constituted a small fraction of the overall trade involving the 30-product list.

The import duty of almonds in the shell has been hiked from Rs 35 per kg to Rs 42 per kg.

Of the duty-hiked 29 products, the category that will bring in the highest additional duties is almonds that are fresh or dried in shell. The import duty of shelled almonds has been jumped from Rs 100 per kg to Rs 120 per kg. According to Indian government estimates, India imported such almonds worth $580.63 million from the U.S. in 2017.

The second biggest impact will involve fresh apples.

From lentils to path lab reagents, India's retaliatory tariffs seek to protect farmers and boost domestic industry equally.

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