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India refuses to rollback higher duties levied on almonds imported from the US

India is expected to get an additional of $217 million in revenue from the retaliatory tariffs on 28 US goods

July 30, 2019 / 01:41 PM IST

India will not rollback higher duties slapped on almonds, one of the 28 American goods on which New Delhi had levied retaliatory tariffs in June, a senior government official said.

In its meeting with Indian officials earlier in July, US trade officials had sought a withdrawal of higher duties on almonds.

"We refused the relaxation on tariffs on almonds imported from America by trade officials of the Donald Trump administration who visited India a few weeks ago," the official told Moneycontrol.

India is expected to get an additional of $217 million in revenue from the retaliatory tariffs. The highest amount — $98.7 million — is expected to come from the import of almonds. An additional duty of 17 percent is imposed on almonds imported from the US.

In 2018-19, India imported $625 million worth of almonds from the US.

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In March 2018, the US imposed a global additional tariff of 25 percent and 10 percent on import of steel and aluminum products, respectively.

In retaliation, India levied tariffs on 28 products originating or exported from the US with effect from June 16.

Simultaneously, the US also withdrew incentives to tune of $6.3 billion of Indian exports under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme effective June 5.

The US has also taken India the World Trade Organization for “less favourable treatment” of its products after New Delhi raised duties on American goods.

"The issue is a complex one and it is expected to be discussed by the commerce minister (Piyush Goyal) during his visit to Washington next month. He will most likely meet USTR (United States Trade Representative) Robert E Lighthizer," the official said.

Market access to key US products is remains the main trade dispute issue between the two countries. The US wants to export high-priced medical equipment to India and New Delhi is unlikely to oblige.

Also, dairy products that have animal fat are unlikely to get the green signal from India. India has suggested some alternatives in the area of dairy products which the US is currently studying.
Kamalika Ghosh
first published: Jul 30, 2019 01:41 pm

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