India postpones levying retaliatory tariff on US goods

Agencies New Delhi, Delhi, India May 14, 2019, 08.04 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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According to a US Congressional report, India's proposed retaliatory tariffs against US agricultural products including apples, almonds and lentils will have an adverse impact on American exports.

India has delayed the implementation of higher tariffs on some goods imported from the United States to June 16, according to a government statement.

The new duties were to come into force from May 16.

Angered by Washington’s refusal to exempt it from new steel and aluminium tariffs, New Delhi announced in June last year a plan to raise the import tax on US products such as almonds, walnuts and apples.

But since then, New Delhi has repeatedly delayed the implementation of the new tariffs. In October last year, Trump described India as a "tariff king" as he reiterated his allegations that New Delhi has a high tariff rate on various American products.

India's proposed retaliatory tariffs are far less than that by China on more than 800 American agricultural products which accounted for approximately $20.6 billion in exports to the US in 2017.

India ranked third as a destination for US apple exports in 2017, purchasing $97 million of US apples, or 10 per cent of the total exports. India's exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were $26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.

According to a US Congressional report, India's proposed retaliatory tariffs against US agricultural products including apples, almonds and lentils will have an adverse impact on American exports worth nearly $900 million.

Countries have imposed tariffs on American agricultural products to retaliate against actions the Trump administration took in March, 2018 to protect US steel and aluminium producers and in response to Chinese intellectual property rights and technology policies.

Since then, over 800 US food and agricultural products have been subject to retaliatory tariffs from China, the EU, Turkey, Canada and Mexico.

(Inputs: Reuters and PTI)