India has deferred imposing higher duties worth $235 million on 29 American goods to January 31, 2019.
The retaliatory tariffs were scheduled to come into effect on December 17 and have been postponed for the fourth time.
“…the central government, being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so,” the government said in a notification on Saturday.
The new deadline comes just before US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ India visit in February for the US-India Commercial Dialogue and the US-India CEO forum.
The extension coincides with the US and China’s 90-day truce as the two try to find a solution to the escalating trade dispute.
In June, India decided to impose higher tariffs on these American imports from August 4, in retaliation to the March 9 decision of US President Donald Trump to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items.
The government later delayed the levies to September 18 and then again until November 2.
With the new tariffs, the import duty on walnut would be hiked to 120% from 30% while that on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal would become 70% from 30% now. Similarly, the levy on lentils will be hiked to 40% from 30%.
The two sides have sparred over a variety of issues and are in the process of resolving them part of a ‘trade package’.
The key issues include the US levying higher tariffs on Indian steel and aluminium, and reviewing Indian exports’ eligibility for preferential duties. While India has demanded greater market access for its products from sectors, including agriculture, automobile, auto components and engineering, the US is sought greater market access for its farm and manufacturing products, including medical devices.
Source : PTI