India set to levy higher tariffs on some United States goods next week

A man holds the flags of India and the US while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade in New York in this

A man holds the flags of India and the US while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade in New York in this

India has chose to impose retaliatory tariffs on 29 American goods June 16 onwards, after having deferred the higher duties multiple times after announcing them past year in June, sources said.

Retaliatory tariffs on United States goods were deferred till June 16 as India was in the midst of General Elections.

The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest USA trade preference programme and is created to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

India is now looking at adopting the higher tariffs, the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, although the USA has warned that any retaliatory tariffs by India would not be "appropriate" under WTO rules.

India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry did not respond to an email from Reuters seeking comment.

New Delhi is preparing to respond against unfriendly USA trade policies directed at it, by hiking levies on 29 American goods, in all worth up to $290 million, Indian media has reported, citing its sources.

India was the largest beneficiary of the programme in 2017 with $5.7 billion in imports to the USA given duty-free status and Turkey the fifth largest with $1.7 billion in covered imports, according to a Congressional Research Service report issued in January.

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

The possible introduction of tariffs by India may come shortly before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the country later this month.

On March 4, Trump announced that the U.S. intends to terminate India's designations as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP programme.

New Delhi's new rules in areas such as e-commerce and data localization have angered the United States and hit companies such as Amazon.com, Walmart Inc, Mastercard and Visa, among others.

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