India’s retaliatory tariffs to hit US exports worth $900 million – report

India’s proposed retaliatory tariffs against US agricultural products including apples, almonds and lentils will have an adverse impact on American exports worth nearly $900 million, according to the latest US Congressional report.

India last year announced higher import duties on many US products like apples, almonds, walnuts, chickpeas and lentils in retaliation to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war.

However, India is the only major country which has been continuously postponing the implementation of the retaliatory tariffs despite announcing it more than six months ago.

In October last year, Trump described India as a “tariff king” as he reiterated his allegations that New Delhi has a high tariff rate on various American products.

India’s proposed retaliatory tariffs is far less than that by China on more than 800 American agricultural products which accounted for approximately $ 20.6 billion in exports to the US in 2017.

China is followed by Canada ($ 2.6 billion), Mexico ($ 2.5 billion), the European Union (EU) ($ 1 billion) and Turkey ($ 250 million) in slapping retaliatory tariffs on the agricultural products from the US. Countries have imposed tariffs on American agricultural products to retaliate against actions the Trump administration took in March, 2018 to protect US steel and aluminum producers and in response to Chinese intellectual property rights and technology policies.

Since then, over 800 US food and agricultural products have been subject to retaliatory tariffs from China, the EU, Turkey, Canada and Mexico, the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its report ‘Profiles and Effects of Retaliatory Tariffs on US Agricultural Exports’.

The CRS, an independent research wing of Congress, regularly prepares reports on various issues for the lawmakers to take informed decisions. US exports of those products to the retaliating countries totaled $ 26.9 billion in 2017, according to the United States Department of Agriculture ($A) export data.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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