India’s imposition of tariffs on US items is ‘no longer acceptable’ to the United States, President Donald Trump said on July 9. The remark came less than a fortnight after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28, where the two agreed for a meeting of their Commerce Ministers to sort out the issues.
“India has long had a field day putting tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!” President Trump tweeted. Before meeting Modi, Trump had tweeted: “I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the tariffs must be withdrawn!”
India has raised tariffs on 28 items, including almond, pulses and walnut exported from the United States, in retaliation to the US withdrawal of preferential access for Indian products. President Trump terminated the generalised system of preference (GSP) benefits for India starting June 5 after concluding that there was no assurance from New Delhi it would offer ‘equitable and reasonable access’ to its markets.
The government on June 21 last year decided to impose these duties in retaliation to the US decision to significantly hike customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products. India later dragged the United States to the World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminum.