The Indian government’s appeal for an exemption to the United States’ blanket import tariff on aluminium and steel is dead on arrival according to sources in Washington, D.C. who spoke to the media last week.
An anonymous source who spoke to Reuters said the Indian government offered to swap an exemption from some of its tariffs on agricultural goods.
“India has raised the issue but they’ve been turned down fairly quickly by the U.S. team, so it isn’t in serious consideration right now.”
Negotiators hoped to strike a deal prior to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States later in the month, but according to Indian negotiators the American trade representatives weren’t “flexible” enough to do the deal.
“U.S. officials have been very clear with India in meetings that they are not considering an exemption for India on Section 232 tariffs.”
A second Indian source told Reuters that they continue to be prepared to discuss other concessions with U.S. negotiators if they bring any to the table prior to Modi’s visit.
“PM (Modi) is visiting and by that time, they (U.S.) want to come up with something good, which looks positive for both sides.”
Meanwhile, representatives from American steel producers spoke in favor of retaining the Section 232 tariffs at a hearing hosted by the U.S. Congressional Steel Caucus. American Iron and Steel Institute president Kevin Dempsey told Reuters that he finds it highly unlikely that the U.S. government will relent on aluminium and steel tariffs.