Just days after the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chanted BJP’s election slogan ‘Modi hai toh mumkin hai’ in his speech at the US-India Business Council, a recent development has come from the Indian side where, India has decided to impose higher custom duties on 29 US items such as walnut, pulses, almonds etc. which will come into effect from June 16.

This move will be going to hurt American exporters as they will have to pay additional duties on these items. India would be benefitting with the $217 million additional revenues from such imports. But these tariffs have been imposed in retaliation to the US decision of hiking custom duties on some of the steel and aluminium products from India.

The trade-tariff negotiations were going on between India and US. But the efforts suffered a big setback when the US decided to withdraw under its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), the incentives provided to the Indian exporters abruptly on June 5.

The other products on the list of 29 items on which custom duties will be hiked include screws, bolts, rivets, chickpeas, apples, nuts, pears, products of stainless steel, domestic reagents, tube/pipe fittings etc.

India has also taken US to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) over the imposition of high tariffs on steel and aluminium products. Since India is one of the top exporters of these items, the US decision has a monetary implication of around $240 million on Indian steel and aluminium goods. About $1.5 billion of steel and aluminium products are exported to the US every year.

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