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Sheetal Sukhija - Monday 18th June, 2018

NEW DELHI, India - After the U.S. imposed higher tariffs on Indian steel and aluminium exports, now India has decided to hit back at America's protectionist policies.

Officials in India said on Saturday that the country will suspend concessions on 30 U.S. products, including motorcycles, almonds, walnuts and apples.

In a four-page letter to the WTO, India stated that the suspended concessions are equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by the U.S.

It said, “India hereby reiterates its decision to suspend concessions or other obligations notified to the Council for Trade in Goods on May 18, 2018... of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and Article 8.2 of the Agreement on Safeguards that are substantially equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by the U.S.”

The letter further noted that the suspended concessions are substantially equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by the U.S.

India said in the letter that customs duty on motorcycles with engine capacity over 800 cc will be raised up to 50 percent, almonds 20 percent, walnuts 20 percent and apples 25 percent.

The government also threatened further action, and wrote, "India reserves its right to further suspend substantially equivalent concessions and other obligations based on the trade impact resulting from the application of the measures of the U.S.”

According to officials in New Delhi, the move came after Washington imposed higher tariffs on Indian metal exports. 

U.S. imposed 25 percent duty on certain steel products and 10 percent on aluminium products and the Donald Trump administration has claimed that the new tariffs will help the U.S. collect $241 million of duty.

India’s letter to WTO added, “This notification is made in connection with safeguard measures imposed by the United States of America on imports of certain aluminium and steel articles.”

According to Indian officials, the country is expecting around $238.09 million of duty to be collected through the measure imposed on America.

Earlier this week, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu met U.S. officials in Washington to iron out the differences. 

However, at the end of the week, India sent the letter to WTO, indicating that it would fight back against the recently imposed controversial U.S. metal tariffs.

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