India firm on decision to impose retaliatory tariff on 29 US items

US had decided to impose high customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products

trade-wars-afp The decision to hike duties is in retaliation to the unilateral increase in tariff by the US on certain steel and aluminium products last year | AFP

After extending the deadline for several times, India will now go ahead with its decision to impose retaliatory import duties on 29 US products, including almond, walnut and pulses, sources said on Friday.

Finance ministry will issue a notification to this effect soon, they added. In May last year, the ministry had extended the deadline for imposing higher tariffs on these US products till June 16.

These deadlines were extended several times since June 2018, when India decided to impose these duties in retaliation to a move by the US to impose high customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.

As part of the imposition of higher import duties, India has notified higher tariffs on several products. 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.

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