India Defers Higher Import Duties On 29 US Products Till May 2Flags of India and the United States near India Gate in New Delhi.

Heeding to the recommendations from the Department of Commerce, the Finance Ministry issued a notification on 29 March 2019 that it has further deferred the deadline to impose higher custom tariffs on 29 products imported into India from the United States of America (USA), including almonds and walnuts.

Government is now planning to send a delegation to USA to mollify and wither out the thorny issues affecting trade, reports Economic Times.

With the new tariffs, the import duty on walnut would be hiked to 120 per cent from 30 per cent while that on chickpeas, bengal gram and masoor dal would become 70 per cent from 30 per cent now. Similarly, the levy on lentils will be hiked to 40 per cent from 30 per cent.

The tariffs which were first proposed to be effective from June 2019 have been delayed over half a dozen times so far, and are now due to for imposition on 2 May 2019. The higher tariffs worth about $235 million were announced in retaliation to the March 9 2018 decision of US President Donald Trump to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items imported from India and a number of other countries.

Ever since India and USA had been engaged in trade talks to arrive at a trade pact, this month, talks fell apart with USA announcing the withdrawal of export incentives being provided to India for certain goods under Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme. Consequently, high tariffs on $5.6 billion of Indian exports to the US are expected to kick in from 2 May 2019.

India's exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were $26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.

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