India increases tariffs on 28 US goods as trade war heats up

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Published: June 16, 2019 6:08:02 PM

The increased charges have been imposed on 28 products including chickpeas, phosphoric acid, apples, almonds and walnuts, according to the notice released late Saturday.

The Indian government said that “it is necessary in the public interest” to impose the higher tariffs, the statement said. (Reuters)

India has imposed higher customs duties on a raft of U.S. goods effective Sunday in response to similar measures taken by Washington, according to a government notice. The increased charges have been imposed on 28 products including chickpeas, phosphoric acid, apples, almonds and walnuts, according to the notice released late Saturday. The country would get about $217 million in additional revenue from the higher tariffs, the Press Trust of India reported.

The move follows President Donald Trump’s decision on June 1 to end trade concessions on $5.7 billion of goods India shipped to the U.S. as of 2017. These include imitation jewelry, leather products, pharmaceuticals, chemical and plastics and some farm items. The Indian government said that “it is necessary in the public interest” to impose the higher tariffs, the statement said.

The move comes just days ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo aimed at deepening defense and energy ties between the two nations. Trade tensions have been building with the U.S. decision to withdraw India’s preferential trade status.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative told The Hindu newspaper that it had no comment when asked to respond to media reports last week that the U.S. was considering launching an investigation into India trade practices. The office said that it, however, continued to raise market-access concerns, the report said.

India last year announced higher tariffs on a clutch of items in retaliation for the U.S. imposing higher levies on some products shipped from the South Asian nation, mirroring steps taken by China and the European Union. New Delhi, however, repeatedly deferred imposition of the new tariffs as it kept the door open for talks to avert a trade war.

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