YET AGAIN, INDIA DELAYS U.S. TARIFF RETALIATION AT THE LAST MINUTE

by | May 13, 2019

Retaliation would have affected Washington apples. New date is May 16.

In June India was one of seven countries and the EU to announce retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports in response to new US tariffs imposed on their steel and aluminum exports on national security grounds. India asked the U.S. for an exemption since its steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. were only two percent of total U.S. imports. The U.S. rejected the request.

India valued the U.S. tariffs at US $241 million. Retaliatory tariffs range from 10% to 50%. Products on India’s 25% tariff retaliation list are heavily agricultural and target almonds, apples, walnuts, chickpeas and lentils. Harley Davidson motorcycles, already subject to a 50% tariff, were not included. India is America’s biggest almond market. Washington state apples dominate the growing high-end Indian apple market. Only Mexico buys more apples from the U.S. U.S. apple shipments to India totaled $175 million from July 2017 to June 2018, double the previous period.

The original implementation date was August 4, postponed on August 4 to September 18 pending talks with the U.S. There have been a number of postponements since then. On May 2 the date was postponed until May 16. This latest postponement is coincidental with the U.S. announcing it plans to end India’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) tariff reductions and the end of India’s temporary permission to import Iranian oil. India imports 80% of its oil needs.

A complete list of retaliatory tariffs and the revenue expected is on the World Trade Organization website.