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Friday 3 April 2020

Trade war: India to wait for US notification to see impact of tariff hikes

Trump signed two proclamations that levied a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico

Editorials

In India

New Delhi: India today said it is waiting for the US notification on a hike in import tariff on steel and aluminium to gauge its impact on domestic players amid the global outcry over America’s decision to increase duties beyond its commitment at the WTO.

US President Donald Trump has imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, sparking fears of a global trade war.

Trump signed two proclamations that levied a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico. The contentious tariffs will go into effect in 15 days.

Talking to reporters here, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said there is a “disquiet” as the US has raised duties on certain items beyond the bound rates or its commitment to the World Trade Organisation.

When asked what would be the impact of the US duty hike on India, the Secretary said “of course” there would be some impact as India is an exporter.

“We will wait to see what form it (US notification on tariff hike) will take,” she said.

When asked if other countries too have raised duties beyond the bound rate, Teaotia said no other WTO member has used the “security exception” argument as done by the US in raising duties on import of steel and aluminium.

India, she said is not a protectionist country and has always kept its import duties in the WTO bound rates.

She further said that 17 countries, including India, had expressed concern over the US plans to raise tariffs during the General Council Meeting of the WTO at Geneva in Switzerland.

To another question on US demand to lower import duty on super-bikes, like Harley Davidson, Teaotia said India has its own ‘Make In India‘ and is the largest producer of motorbikes.

She, however, did not elaborate further.

PTI

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