The duties, which take effect August 4, will mean $240 million additional revenue. The Indian government said it will raise duties on American apples, almonds, walnuts and some stainless steel products among others but kept high-end motorcycles off the list. The bikes are a sore point with Trump, who has cited duties on Harley-Davidsons in his trade-related comments on India.
India last week submitted a revised list of 30 items on which it proposes to raise customs duties by up to 50% to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The move was in retaliation against the US raising duty on certain steel and aluminium products that had a tariff implication of $241million for India. “The duties will come into effect from August. We want to give time to the US to resolve these issues through discussions,” said a commerce department official.
The notification came ahead of a high-level visit by officials of the US Trade Representative’s office next week to begin negotiations on a range of issues plaguing India-US trade ties. “India’s position is that it can impose these tariffs but wants to discuss the contentious issues first,” said an expert.
The US president has shown himself willing to offend allies by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum against Canada and EU nations, roiling the recent G-7 meeting.
AMERICA’S TARIFF WAR
He has also taken on the Chinese for the trade imbalance between the two countries, first announcing tariffs on goods worth $50 billion, then on another $200 billion and conceivably a further $200 billion after that. The Chinese have said they will strike back. Trump had aired his grouse with India at a press briefing during the G-7 meeting in June in Canada.
“This isn’t just the G-7. I mean, we have India, where some of the tariffs are 100%—a hundred percent! And we charge nothing—we can’t do that. And so we are talking to many countries,” Trump said. “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing.”
Under India’s latest proposed changes, American almonds and walnuts will attract 100% duty, while pulses such as chickpeas and Bengal gram will be subject to 60% tariff and a 50% tax will be levied on apples. In the notification to the WTO of its decision to suspend concessions to the US last week, India said it expects around $238.09 million of duty to be collected through the measures.
The US in March imposed 25% duty on certain steel products and 10% on aluminium products that will help the US collect $241 million of duty, the notification said. Previously, after Trump first raised the matter of duty on high-end bikes, levies were reduced to 50% from 60% and above.