India to hike mulls import duty on 30 US products

India to hike mulls import duty on 30 US products

file photo for representation.

The trade differences between India and the United States are set to become wider with New Delhi deciding to raise customs duty up by 50% on 30 items, including motorcycles, fresh apples and almonds to counter American move of hiking duties on Indian steel and aluminium.

According to a Reuters report, China too will impose additional 25% tariffs on 659 US goods worth $ 50 billion in response to the US announcement that it will levy 25% tariff on Chinese imports that runs into $ 50 billion.

India submitted a revised list to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last Wednesday, which will have a $ 241 million implication on Washington, which matches the implications on New Delhi due to the duty hike by US on imports of aluminium and steel.

The list includes certain iron and steel goods, lentils boric acid, chickpeas, walnut, refined Palmolein, motorcycles with engine capacity over 800 cc, diagnostic reagents and threaded nuts among others.

The move comes even as Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu visited the United States earlier this week and held discussions with top officials there to narrow down differences.

"The revision is being provided to adjust the products and the tariff rates in accordance with India’s rights reserved vide its notification to the Council for Trade in Goods contained in the WTO document...of May 18, 2018. 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," India's communication to the WTO said.

"The proposed suspension of concessions or other obligations notified to the Council takes the form of an increase in tariffs on selected products originating in the US, based on the measures of the US," it said adding India reserves its right to further suspend substantially equivalent concessions and other obligations based on the trade impact resulting from the application of the measures of the US.

The higher tariff rate on Harley-Davidson motorcycles imposed by India had been cited by US President Donald Trump on several occasions earlier and he had even threatened to increase tariff on Indian bikes. Last Monday, Trump took a swipe at India along with G-7 countries and accused it of charging 100% tariff on some of the US' goods. He also threatened to cut trade ties with countries who are robbing America.