India has moved to raise custom duties by upto 50% on 30 products from the United States.
The tariffs come as a response to the US’ move in March this year, which hiked duties on certain steel and aluminium goods from India.
Seeking compensation for the tariffs placed by the US, India had earlier moved the WTO under the Agreement of Safeguards. The US, however, had rejected this request.
A list of these 30 products, including motorcycles, certain iron and steel goods, lentils, fresh apples, and almonds, has been submitted by the country to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“India hereby reiterates its decision to suspend concessions or other obligations notified to the Council for Trade in Goods on May 18, 2018…of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and Article 8.2 of the Agreement on Safeguards, that are substantially equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by the United States,” the country’s submission claimed.
The duties resulting from this move are expected to amount to approximately 238.09 million USD, while the amount the US is likely to yield from its duties comes to around 241 million USD.
India also claimed that it plans on keeping them in place until the US rolls back its own measures. The country’s notification to the WTO states, “India hereby reiterates its decision to suspend concessions or other obligations notified to the Council for Trade in Goods on 18 May 2018…The suspension of concessions will continue to apply until the US’ safeguard measures are lifted.”
This is the first time that India has imposed retaliatory tariffs on imports from another country. They are set to come into effect on 21 June 2018.
A series of bilateral talks slated to be held between the two countries identify tariffs and duty cuts as “low-hanging fruits” that need to be addressed. Other matters that are likely to be discussed include pricing of medical devices, and visa issues. India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, said, “We have agreed to work on resolutions of various issues and address the concerns of either side.”