45-day extension for imposing higher tariffs on US products

By PTI Published on Aug 04, 2018 03:15 PM IST

New Delhi: The government has extend by 45 days the deadline for imposition of higher customs duties on 29 products, including almond, walnut and pulses, imported from the US.

The duties would now come into effect from September 18, according to a notification of the Finance Ministry. As per a June notification, the duty hike was to come into effect from today but some positive expectations from the ongoing talks between the two countries has led to this 45-day extension, according to sources.

In a notification issued late last night, the Finance Ministry changed the date from 4 August to 18 September.

The Commerce Ministry had suggested to the Department of Revenue to amend the notification for further extension of retaliatory measures for another 45 days.

As per the notification, import duties on 29 American items would be hiked.    While import duty on walnut is to be hiked to 120 per cent from 30 per cent, duty on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal will be hiked to 70 per cent from 30 per cent. Levy on lentils will be hiked to 40 per cent from 30 per cent.

The duty hike move by India was in retaliation to the 9 March decision of US President Donald Trump to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that has sparked fears of a global trade war.

India has said the duty imposed by the US has affected steel exports by USD 198.6 million and aluminium shipments by USD 42.4 million. India has also dragged the US to the World Trade Organization'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. Exports to the US in 2016-2017 stood at USD 42.21 billion, while imports were USD 22.3 billion.

Other products which would attract higher duties include boric acid, phosphoric acid, diagnostic reagent, flat rolled products of iron and certain flat rolled products of stainless steel.