Senior officials of India and the US will meet again tomorrow to resolve tariff related issues on goods with a view to increase bilateral trade between the countries.
The meeting assumes significance as India last week announced the decision to raise customs duties on as many as 29 products, including pulses, iron and steel products, imported from the US as a retaliatory action against the tariff hikes by Washington.
India’s notification to increase duties on these 29 items will take effect from August 4. India is pressing for exemption from high duty imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products and resumption of export benefits to certain domestic products under their Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
As many as 3,500 Indian products from sectors such as chemicals and engineering get duty free access to the US market under the GSP, introduced in 1976. Trade experts have stated that removal of GSP benefits to India is against the global trading norms.
According to the US Trade Representative (USTR), the GSP is a trade preference programme designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.
The US is understood to have proposed extending some concessions to Indian steel and aluminium exporters, sources, who do not wish to be named said.
On the other hand, the US is demanding greater market access for its agri and manufacturing products. The bilateral meeting started from June 26.
India’s exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at USD 47.9 billion, while imports were USD 26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.
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