As countermeasure, India hikes import duty on 29 US products

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New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) In a retaliatory move against the recent US import duty hikes, India on Thursday raised customs duty on 29 products, including on iron and steel products imported from the US.

A Finance Ministry notification said the duty hike would come into effect immediately for 28 products, while for the marine product artemia the increased duty would be effective from August 4.

In March, US President Donald Trump slapped import tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, unfolding the prospect of an all-out global trade war. China retaliated in April imposing tariffs as high as 25 per cent on 128 American products.

India has sought an exemption from the US tariffs along the lines the US has allowed to the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.

In Thursday’s hike by India, duty on flat rolled products on iron has been raised to 27.50 per cent from 15 per cent earlier, while certain flat rolled products on stainless steel will now attract 22.50 per cent duty as against 15 per cent earlier.

Import duty on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal has been increased to 70 per cent, from 30 per cent earlier, while that on lentils has been raised to 40 per cent from 30 per cent.

Shelled almonds from the US will now attract import duty at Rs 120 per kg, as compared to Rs 100 earlier. Almonds in shell will now be levied import duty at Rs 42 per kg as against Rs 35 earlier.

Shelled walnut will now attract customs duty at the rate of 120 per cent, as against 30 per cent earlier.

Apples will attract import duty of 75 per cent as compared to 50 per cent earlier.

Import duty on American phosphoric acid has been raised to 20 per cent, from 10 per cent each earlier, while the duty on diagnostic reagents has also been doubled to 20 per cent.

Customs duty on artemia, a type of shrimp, has been hiked to 30 per cent with effect from August 4.

For automobiles and earth moving equipment, SIM sockets and other metallic mechanical items for use in manufacture of mobile phones, the duty has been hiked to 25 per cent, from 15 per cent previously.

During his official visit to Washington last week, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said that India and the US had agreed to hold official talks soon to address the trade and economic irritants between both nations.

This decision was taken during a series of meetings Prabhu had with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington during the Indian Minister’s visit from June 10 to 12.

Prabhu told reporters in Washington that India would send an official team to work out the details and start comprehensive negotiations on all issues concerning the bilateral trade and economic relationship.



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