Imported Products From US Set to Become Costly; India Informs WTO About Decision to Suspend Concessions on 30 Products
30 Products from US May Become Costlier (Photo Credits: PTI)

Washington, June 16: Striking back against Donald Trump administration’s move to impose higher duties on Indian exports, India has decided to raise duties on 30 products originating in the US. India has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of its decision to suspend concessions to the US on 30 products and has submitted a revised list of the same.

These 30 items include motorcycles with engine capacity over 800 cc, fresh apples, almonds, several iron and steel goods, boric acid and lentils on which the WTO proposes to raise customs duty by up to 50 percent. With the revised list, must be noted that motorcycles will attract 50% of duty while almonds will attract 20%, walnuts 20% and apples 25%.

The higher revised duties will come into force from June 21, 2018. India has proposed this move under the WTO's Agreement on Safeguards. This is the first time that India has levied retaliatory tariffs on any country. India’s decision comes after US imposed safeguard measures on imports of certain articles and clarified that suspension of concessions shall be equal to the amount of trade affected by US’ measures.

Reports informed that as duties hiked by the US on certain steel and aluminium products would have implications of about $241 million on India, the rise in tariffs proposed by New Delhi, too, would have an equal implication on America.

India, in its statement to WTO, informed that the decision is made in connection with safeguard measures imposed by the United States of America on imports of certain aluminium and steel articles.  In March, the had imposed 25% duty on certain steel products and 10% on aluminium products which as per the notification, will help the US collect $241million of duty, a report by Economic Times said.

In its communication to the WTO, India said, "The revision is being provided to adjust the products and the tariff rates in accordance with India's rights reserved vide its notification to the Council for Trade in Goods contained in the WTO document...of May 18, 2018. India hereby reiterates its decision to suspend concessions or other obligations notified to the Council for Trade in Goods on May 18, 2018...of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and Article 8.2 of the Agreement on Safeguards, that is substantially equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by the United States”.

In March this year, President of United States Donald Trump had imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that has sparked fears of a global trade war. Reports by PTI inform that Trump signed two proclamations that levied a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico. India had earlier stated that these suspensions will come into effect earlier than June 21, 2018, in case the US decides to continue the period of application of the measures.

According to a PTI report, India said that the duty imposed by America has affected steel exports by $198.6 million, while the same on aluminium was $42.4 million. The other items include chickpeas, fresh apple, walnut, refined palmolein, motorcycles with engine capacity over 800 cc, diagnostic reagents and threaded nuts.