Union Finance Ministry has further extended deadline on imposing import duty hike on 29 products, imported from United States (US) by 45 days till September 18, 2018 from earlier August 4, 2018. This decision for extension of retaliatory measures for another 45 days was taken based on suggestion of Union Commerce Ministry. It also comes after some positive expectations from ongoing talks between two countries as they are wrapping up negotiations on mutually-acceptable trade package for boosting India-US trade through greater market access.
The duty hike move 29 products announced by India in June 2018 was tit for tat retaliatory measure to March 2018 decision of US President Donald Trump to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items. The additional duties imposed by India were aimed at helping government earn additional $241 million, equivalent to amount of iron and steel trade affected by US measures. The 29 products included agricultural products such as almonds, apples, chickpeas, lentils, and walnuts, and industrial inputs such as boric acid, phosphoric acid, diagnostic reagent, flat rolled products of iron, certain flat rolled products of stainless steel. Prior to issuing duty hike notification, India has also had dragged US to World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism over imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium.