India firm on decision to impose retaliatory tariff on 29 USA items

India firm on decision to impose retaliatory tariff on 29 USA items

India firm on decision to impose retaliatory tariff on 29 USA items

These deadlines were extended several times since June 2018, when India chose to impose these duties in retaliation to a move by the USA to impose high customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.

In response to losing those privileges, India is now considering slapping higher tariffs on USA goods, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, although the United States has warned that any retaliatory levies by India would not be "appropriate" under World Trade Organization rules.

India is now looking at adopting the higher tariffs, the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, although the USA has warned that any retaliatory tariffs by India would not be "appropriate" under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest USA trade preference programme and is created to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

India had announced retaliatory tariffs worth $230 million on 29 American goods in June a year ago.

India is by far the largest buyer of US almonds, paying $543 million for more than half of US almond exports in 2018, US Department of Agriculture data shows.

Washington, however, withdrew the GSP benefits from India on June 5, 2019, which may have prompted the government to finally put the duties in place. But I am happy that India has responded, since it was giving a wrong signal about India's decision-making process. Trade between them stood at about $142.1 billion in 2018.

Last week, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said India accepts the decision of the United States to withdraw GSP benefits to its exporters "gracefully", and will work towards making the exports competitive.

Dates for Pompeo's visit have not been officially announced, but it could reportedly happen ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first meeting with Trump in more than two years, on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Japan later this month. Trump has often termed India a "tariff king" and repeatedly pointed to the 50% duty that India imposes on imports of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Briefing reporters after a meeting with exporters and state government representatives, Goyal said the withdrawal of GSP is not a matter of life and death for all exporters. On June 1, though, the U.S. president surprised everybody by issuing the presidential proclamation and withdrawing GSP benefits given to India, effective June 5.

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