Hopeful of sorting trade issues, India may scrap additional duties on 29 US goods

Hopeful of sorting trade issues, India may scrap additional duties on 29 US goods

India could withdraw the notification to levy additional duties on 29 US products from August 4, if both sides are able to resolve differences over tariffs before that date, official sources said, after three rounds of talks with representatives of the US administration in New Delhi. The two sides will also come up with a white paper at a meeting next month in Washington on issues that can be resolved over six months to 3-4 years.

“We are hopeful of resolving trade issues before August 4,” said an official, adding that any country that notifies the World Trade Organization about tariffs has the right to withdraw or defer it. From the US side, assistant US Trade Representative (USTR) for South and Central Asian Affairs Mark Linscott, assistant USTR for agricultural affairs and commodity policy Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, deputy USTR Brendan Lynch and officials from the high commission attended the meeting. From India, official from the ministries of commerce and industry, external affairs, agriculture and animal husbandry were there. India and the US have been involved in a tit-for-tat action over bilateral trade in the last few months. Washington has challenged India’s export subsidies and tariffs. New Delhi has, meanwhile, questioned the US tariffs on steel and aluminium and last week raised the effective duty on $240 million worth US imports.

However, it dropped Harley Davidson bikes from the list which as per the official, was done to keep total increase in tariff in line with the total duty hike by the US. “We have countries where, as an example India, they charge up as much as 100% tariff. We want the tariffs removed,” US President Donald Trump had said earlier this week. The two countries plan to follow a two-track approach to iron out trade issues. The first is to resolve immediate concerns in the short to medium term and the other pertains to expanding bilateral trade in the long run.

The Economic Times, 29th June 2018, New Delhi

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