India has potentially retaliated to the US by imposing long-pending tariffs on 29 US products after Trump had withdrawn duty-free benefits for Indian exports under its Generalised System of Preferences effective June 5.
The new tariffs will come into effect from June 16 as the notification to postpone the rise in duty will expire on Saturday. Government sources said the duty hike was justified as it was against the US on steel and aluminium and because of the withdrawal of benefits under GSP.
A latest, report by GoI estimated a positive growth of 3.93 per cent in Indian exports in May 2019, when compared to the same period last year. Exports in May 2019 were USD 29.99billion, as compared to USD 28.86 billion in May 2018, exhibiting a positive growth of 3.93 per cent. In Rupee terms, exports were INR 2,09,280.62 crore in May 2019, as compared to INR 1,94,928.45 crore in May 2018, registering a positive growth of 7.36 per cent.
India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in April-May 2019-20 are estimated to be USD 92.33 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 4.32 per cent over the same period last year. Overall imports in April-May 2019-20 are estimated to be USD 109.75 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 5.30 per cent over the same period last year.
India has consecutively delayed the duty hike of around USD 235 million on around USD 1.4 billion worth of import goods. Key items imported by India from the US are almond and fresh apples worth USD 645 million and USD 165 million, respectively.
India’s decision has come ahead of a proposed meeting between US president Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra on the sidelines of G20 summit to be held in Japan. Trump had spoken highly of 50 per cent duty by India on imports of Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit New Delhi on 25-26 June, on his way to the G20 Summit, to hold bilateral discussions with his Indian counterpart, external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
Speaking at the 44th annual meeting of the US-India Business Council in Washington DC on Wednesday, Pompeo said they may discuss tough topics, including the recent GSP programme decision. “We remain open to dialogue, and hope that our friends in India will drop their trade barriers and trust in the competitiveness of their own companies, their own businesses, their own people, and private sector companies,” Pompeo said.
Last week, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said India accepts the decision of the US to withdraw GSP benefits to its exporters “gracefully”, and will work towards making the exports competitive, assuring exporters that India is capable of handling the situation.