India has notified World Trade Organisation (WTO) of its decision to impose higher import tariffs (ranging from 20 to 50%) on 30 goods from United States. It includes motorcycles (engine capacity of more than 800 cc), heavy machinery, certain iron and steel goods, boric acid as well as large number of agro products such as almonds, shrimps and chocolates. It is expected to rake in additional $240 million to India.
This will reportedly be the first time that India has imposed retaliatory import duties against US’s unilateral protectionist policies that range from tighter visa regime to higher import duties. The proposed increase in import duties is aimed at countering the impact of higher US tariffs on certain Indian steel and aluminium products, which is going to put burden on $241 million on India.
India imposed retaliatory import duties after it received cold shoulder from US on its request for exempting India from the higher tariffs announced by the US on steel and aluminium imports. India also had dragged US to WTO dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium. India’s exports of steel and aluminium products to US stood at about US $1.5 billion every year. Its exports to US in 2016-17 stood at US $42.21 billion, while imports were US $22.3 billion.