Now India faces off : Retaliatory tariffs on 28 US goods

Move comes following Washington's withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi

The items include almonds, apples, acids and chemicals, official sources from the ministry said.

From June 5, President Trump scrapped trade privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for India, the biggest beneficiary of a scheme that allowed duty-free exports of up to $5.6 billion.

I do hope, and remain open - and we remain open to dialogue, and hope that our friends in India will drop their trade barriers and trust in the competitiveness of their own companies, their own businesses, their own people, and private sector companies.

The Indian Trade Ministry explained the government had extended repeatedly the deadline for set up the tariffs while negotiations were going on for nearly a year, The Hindu newspaper recalled.

From Sunday, India will levy higher customs duty on 28 products imported from the United States.

It comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Trump on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Japan on June 28 and 29.

Days after the United States withdrew special trade privileges for India and hiked duty on Indian products like steel and aluminium, the Modi government has also imposed higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 usa products with effect from today (June 16), an official notification said.

India is by far the largest buyer of U.S. almonds, paying $543 million for more than half of U.S. almond exports in 2018, U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows.

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The list initially included 29 goods but artemia, a kind of shrimp, has been removed from the list.

India will get additional revenue of $217 million from these imports.

Washington, however, withdrew the GSP benefits from India on June 5, 2019, which may have prompted the government to finally put the duties in place.

The long-threatened move is retaliation for President Trump's move to take away India's preferred trade status, which he made two weeks ago over objections to its protectionist policies.

It is also likely to figure during talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is set to visit India for talks later this month.

The latest action by the government is in response to the Trump administration's change in stance in its trade policies with several countries, including China, Mexico, and India.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative told The Hindu newspaper that it had no comment when asked to respond to media reports last week that the USA was considering launching an investigation into India trade practices.

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