India is preparing to impose higher tariffs on some US goods including almonds, walnuts and apples next week after a delay of about a year, two sources said, following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi.
“What India is doing is legal and the tariffs on US goods will only lead to an impact of around $220 mn,” one of the sources said, declining to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry did not respond to an email from Reuters to seek comments.
India initially issued an order in June last year to raise import taxes as high as 120% on a slew of U.S. items, incensed by Washington’s refusal to exempt New Delhi from higher steel and aluminium tariffs. But New Delhi repeatedly delayed raising tariffs as the two nations engaged in trade talks. Trade between them stood at about $142.1 billion in 2018. India is by far the largest buyer of US almonds, paying $543 mn for more than half of US almond exports in 2018, US Department of Agriculture data shows.
Meanwhile, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is planning to visit India, has urged the Modi government to carry out reforms that will open up the Indian economy and market for American companies. In an unusually blunt remarks, Ross asked India to remove the overly restrictive market access barriers for US firms.