India imposes higher customs duty on 28 US products | The Daily Star
11:21 AM, June 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:38 AM, June 16, 2019

India imposes higher customs duty on 28 US products

In a retaliatory measure, India has imposed a higher customs duty with effect from today on 28 products, including almond, pulses and walnut, imported from the United States almost a year after Washington hiked tariffs on Indian products like steel and aluminium.

The move is estimated to hurt American exporters to the tune of 2176 million dollars as they will have to pay higher duties, making those items costlier in the Indian market, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

Amending its June 30, 2017 notification, the Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs (CBIC) said in a fresh notification issued late on Saturday night that it will "implement the imposition of retaliatory duties on 28 specified goods originating in or exported from USA and preserving the existing MFN rate for all these goods for all countries other than USA".

Earlier, the list included 29 goods but India has removed artemia, a kind of shrimp, from it.

India had earlier repeatedly extended the deadline for imposition of retaliatory tariffs on the 28 hoping that some solution would emerge during a negotiation between India and the US on a proposed trade package.

But those negotiations came to a halt following the decision of the US to withdraw export incentives to Indian exporters under its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme. These benefits were rolled back from June 5 in a move that will impact goods worth USD 5.5 billion from India to America, reports our New Delhi correspondent. 

It was on June 21, 2018 that India had first announced its decision to impose retaliatory duties in response to the US decision of significantly hiking customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.

America had in March last year imposed 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent import duty on aluminium products. Earlier, there was no duty on these goods.

As India is one of the major exporters of these items to the US, the move has revenue implication of about USD 240 million on domestic steel and aluminium products.

India has also dragged the US to the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium.

India exports steel and aluminium products worth about USD 1.5 billion to the US every year.

While import duty on walnut has been hiked to 120 per cent from 30 per cent, duty on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal will be raised to 70 per cent, from 30 per cent currently. Levy on lentils will be increased to 40 per cent, according to the CBIC notification on Saturday.

The duty on boric acid and binders for foundry moulds would be hiked to 7.5 per cent while that on domestic reagents will be increased to 10 per cent.

The other products on which duties will be hiked include certain kind of nuts, iron and steel products, apples, pears, flat rolled products of stainless steel, other alloy steel, tube and pipe fittings, and screws, bolts and rivets.

India's exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at USD 47.9 billion, while imports were at USD 26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.

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