India Set to Levy Steep Tariffs on Certain U.S. Goods Should Trump Aluminium Tariffs Continue

The Indian government has taken the offensive in the struggle with the United States over the Trump administration’s blanket 10-percent aluminium tariffs, announcing to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it has lined up tariffs of up to 100 percent for 20 products it exports to the country.

Asserting that the move would be done in an effort at recouping losses anticipated from the Trump aluminium tariffs, the Indian government says that it plans to exact tariffs upon American imports as diverse as peas, soybean oil, apples, walnuts, golf carts, chickpeas, cocoa powder, chocolate, and motorcycles with engines with a displacement of 800 cc or greater.

The Indian government says that the retaliatory tariffs, which are slated to come into effect one month from the announcement, may kick in sooner depending upon the ultimate outcome of negotiations between the two governments.

In announcing the proposed tariffs, New Delhi went to great lengths to make clear its intention that they are done in order to recoup losses incurred by the country’s exporters due to the Trump tariffs. As a result, the Indian government said it also reserves the right to adjust its tariffs to more closely mirror the damages it will incur.

Per the Indian government, losses of US$31.16 million have already been sustained by its aluminium exporters on account of the tariff. All told, India’s total aluminium and steel exports to the United States are around US$1.5 billion per annum, while the country shipped a total of US$42.21 billion in goods to the U.S. Conversely, the United States shipped US$22.3 billion in goods to India over the same time period.

The proposed sanctions come close on the heels of India’s request for consultation with the U.S. at the WTO. India has joined with several other countries who have contested the tariffs on the grounds that they are not the result of a concern over national security.

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