New Delhi: India on Thursday said its retaliatory tariff on 29 US products worth $235 million will come into effect on 4 August, countering a US move to unilaterally raise import duties on Indian steel and aluminium.
However, India left out Harley-Davidson from the final list, in a change from an earlier announcement that it would impose 50% additional tariff on the iconic American motorbikes.
India could have imposed the retaliatory tariffs with immediate effect. But with negotiations coming up on a “trade package", New Delhi seems to have allowed some more time as assistant US trade representative Mark Linscott is scheduled to visit India next week.
India is the latest major economy to hit back against US President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes on steel and aluminium.
On Wednesday, the European Commission notified that it will start imposing 25% import duty from Friday on a range of US products including Harley-Davidson bikes. China in April implemented retaliatory tariffs of up to 25% on $3 billion in food imports from the US.
Last week, India gave the World Trade Organization (WTO) a revised list of 30 items imported from the US, including almonds, apples and phosphoric acid, on which it intends to impose retaliatory tariffs. Earlier, on 18 May, India had given the WTO a list of 20 such items worth $166 million.
India is the world’s largest buyer of US almonds and will collect $116 million by imposing a 20% additional duty on US exports.
India had asked the US government to exempt it from the 25% steel tariff and 10% aluminium tariff imposed by Trump on grounds of national security. The US rejected India’s request. India has also dragged the US to the dispute settlement mechanism in the WTO over the matter.
Trump has often raised the issue of higher tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles imposed by India and threatened to put reciprocal taxes on Indian bikes, which he has wrongly claimed to be selling “in thousands" in the US.
Addressing reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Canada’s Quebec City last week, Trump specifically named India, accusing it of charging 100% tariff on some US goods. “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing," Trump said.