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Trade war: India hits back, hiking import tariffs on a slew of US items

To Trump administration’s move of hiking duties on Indian steel and aluminium products, India gives back a fitting retaliation by hiking tariff against 30 US products worth $ 240 million; this retaliatory hike takes effect from 4 August.

India appears to be confident of fair deal when Assistant US trade representative (USTR) Mark Linscott who is likely to visit India in the last week of June for negotiations.

To India’s request to exempt it from 25% steel tariff and 10% aluminium tariff imposed by the US, Trump administration returned a negative response and in fact India has also sought solution taking the issue to the dispute settlement mechanism in the WTO.

 Following the European Union and China in retaliatory action to Trump administration’s hike of import tariff, India increased duties on a slew of farm products, steel and iron imported from the United States.
In tariff rates issued late on Wednesday, the commerce ministry named some varieties of apples, almonds, chickpeas, lentils, walnuts and artemia that would carry higher import taxes. Most of these are purchased from the United States.

While the European Union, China and India have retaliated to Trump administration’s move of import tariff hike, Japan is yet to strike.
Canada’s retaliatory measures begin on July 1, and Mexico and other nations have also announced they will respond.

“The US abuses tariffs to trigger trade wars everywhere around the globe and that will severely damage the world trade order, hurt the interests of trading partners, and also hurt its domestic companies and people,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Thursday. The US “always use other nations as scapegoats for their own problems,” he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of G7 Summit in Canada’s Quebec City last week, US President singled out India and accused of charging 100% tariff on US goods and made a remark that seemed to imply that America is being robbed. “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing,” Trump said.

The deepening trade war causing tension between the United States and some major economies puts a stiff hurdle on the path of global growth if not derailing it immediately.

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