India mulls introducing retaliatory tariffs worth $241 million on USA imports soon

18 Juin, 2018, 13:50 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • US import tariffs on steel aluminium India hits back to suspend concessions of 30 products

India said the retaliatory barriers are equal in value to USA tariffs on steel and aluminum from India that were imposed by the Trump administration in March.

"It's some bit of posturing and some amount of negotiation will happen", Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner at EY India said.

India is also presenting a united front along with other USA trade partners like China and the European Union, who are also proposing to enforce tariffs against U.S. goods.

In a tit-for-tat in the ongoing trade war with the US, India has made a decision to suspend concessions and raise customs duty by up to 50 per cent on 30 American imports, including premium motorcycles, certain iron and steel goods, boric acid and lentils.

"Our estimates place a combined $240 million loss for India on account of Mr. Trump's steel, aluminium tariffs and we felt a reciprocal tariff of a similar amount on United States imports would be fair", a senior commerce ministry official told the Business Standard newspaper. Importing motorcycles with engines bigger than 800 cc will attract 50 per cent of import duty, and apples will see duty charged at 25 per cent, according to a report by The Economic Times. India primarily sells pearls, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and textiles to the United States, and imports nuclear reactors, machinery, mineral fuels, and oil among other products.

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India has already informed the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of the decision to suspend concessions to the U.S. earlier this week.

New Delhi notified the WTO just as Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu was wrapping up his trip to Washington, where he held discussions with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to find ways to avoid an all-out trade war.

Earlier this week, New Delhi sent a letter to the World Trade Organization notifying the body of its intention. The Indian government repeatedly requested an exemption from these tariffs as India did not pose a security threat to the USA, but to no avail. As part of safeguarding the rules-based worldwide trading system against this United States attack, India is routing its tariff hikes via the WTO, informing the body and raising a fresh dispute on the metal tariffs. This, according to the government, was in keeping with the duty increase of $241 million due to the U.S.' actions.

Three of America's biggest trade partners - the European Union, Mexico and Canada - are retaliating after the Trump administration allowed exemptions that had spared them from tariffs on steel and aluminum to expire. The Indian government had stated that the new revised items will bear a high import duty tariff as early as June 21, if the United States continues with its trade measures.

According to news agency PTI, US' decision to hike import duties will have an impact of about $241 million - $198.6 million on steel and $42.4 million on aluminium.



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