Despite the specter of retaliatory tariffs on United States products, the Trump administration has chosen not to grant exceptions to the Section 232 blanket aluminium and steel tariffs for producers from India.
Assistant United States Trade Representative Mark Linscott spoke with his counterparts in the Indian government earlier this week in an effort at resolving the issue, but according to sources claiming knowledge of the situation, no such accord was reached.
“The visiting officials said that following discussions in Washington it was decided a blanket exemption from higher duties on aluminium and steel cannot be extended to India,” revealed an unnamed Indian official to domestic media. “If India wants to resolve the matter, it has to come up with a counter proposal of capping its exports of the metals.”
The Trump administration has held open the option of strict quotas to all parties asking for exemptions to the Section 232 tariffs. Though a handful of countries have acquiesced, India has steadfastly held to exemptions from any further trade impediments.
Per India’s Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan, all retaliatory options continue to remain on the table, but a cap on exports is currently a front-runner.
“The problem is not with the Commerce Ministry, which has shown flexibility in its attempt to resolve the matter. It is the Steel Ministry which has been sticking to its initial demand of an unconditional rollback.”
Wadhawan continued by saying that the Ministry may be compelled to take a softer line due to recent developments.
“It is clear now that the matter will not be resolved till the Steel Ministry comes up with a counter proposal on capping exports,” he said. “The Commerce Ministry and the Steel Ministry are now expected to hold discussions on what the counter proposal could be.”
India’s government announced retaliatory tariffs on over two dozen United States imports in June, but it has delayed implementation until November 2 in hopes of a resolution to the standoff.