India has proposed retaliatory import duties of up to 100% to be levied from June onwards on a list of American goods in what appears to be a tit-for-tat policy against Washington’s increased tariffs on steel and aluminum.
The 20 items would include peas, chickpeas, fresh apples, walnuts, soybean oil, refined palm olein, coco powder, chocolate products, golf cars, motorcycles with engine capacity of over 800 cc and other goods and vehicles with spark-ignition internal combustion piston engines.
India formally communicated to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it would be levying the higher duty on 20 items imported from the US from next month if the administration of US President Donald Trump failed to roll back high tariffs on steel and aluminum, according to a report by Russia’s Sputnik news agency.
In a stern warning to the US, India said that the suspension of concessions (or increased duties) will continue to apply until the United States' safeguard measures are lifted.
"The proposed suspension of concessions or other obligations takes the form of an increase in tariffs on selected products originating in the United States… based on the measures of the United States. India reserves its right to further suspend substantially equivalent concessions and other obligations based on the measures of the United States," India's formal communication to the WTO reads, Sputnik added.
On March 9, the Trump administration raised the import duty on aluminum products to 10%, while on steel products the duty was raised to 25% for all countries except Canada and Mexico. Due to the increased import duty by the US, around$1.5 billion worth of India's exports of aluminum and steel products have been affected.
India had earlier urged the US to exempt it from the decision to raise import duties on certain steel and aluminum products and resolve the issue amicably through consultation, which was declined by the Trump administration.