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India raises duty on US exports as retaliatory action

New Delhi: Hitting back at the Trump administration for withdrawing trade privileges for certain Indian goods, the Indian government on Saturday raised custom duty on various items, including walnut and apples, exported from the US.

In a late evening notification, the Union Finance Ministry said that the decision was taken in public interest.

The higher custom duty would be applicable from June 16.

In response to the US refusal to exempt Indian steel and aluminimum from higher tariffs, India had last year announced to slam import duty as high as 120 per cent on over dozen items. It, however, deferred the decision in the wake of ongoing trade talks in the hope that the trade issues will be resolved bilaterally.

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But India has finally retaliated to the US move, prompted by withdrwal of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits a few weeks back.

Industry estimates have pegged the additional burden on US items exported to India at $290 million.

Last year, India’s trade surplus for merchandise goods with the US was almost $18-19 billion.

India’s firm action against US has come days before Foreign Minister S Jaishankar is to meet his American counterpart Mike Pompeo.

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