India hikes tariffs on 28 US products

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New Delhi, June 18 (UNI) Higher duties on 28 American products, including almonds, apples and walnuts, came into force on Sunday as a retaliatory measure to the Trump administration’s refusal to exempt India from higher steel and aluminum tariffs.

An official notification said the Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs has amended its June 30, 2017, notification, to “implement the imposition of retaliatory duties on 28 specified goods originating in or exported from the USA and preserving the existing MFN rate for all these goods for all countries other than the USA”.

In March 2018, the Trump administration imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum imported from India.

In response, India had raised import taxes but delayed raising the tariffs as the two sides engaged in trade negotiations.

On June 5, President Donald Trump had scrapped trade privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for India, the biggest beneficiary of a scheme that allowed duty-free exports of up to $5.6 billion.

Sunday’s hike comes days before the visit to New Delhi of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,who earlier this week said that Washington was open to dialogue to resolve trade differences with India.

Responding to that, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “Looking forward to the visit of @SecPompeo to India to take this agenda forward,”

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