August 4, 2018 / 2:37 AM / 11 days ago

India to impose delayed tariffs on some U.S. goods in September

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India said on Saturday that delayed higher tariffs against some goods imported from the United States will go into force on September 18.

FILE PHOTO: Cargo containers are seen stacked outside the container terminal of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai, India, July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

New Delhi, incensed by Washington’s refusal to exempt it from new tariffs, decided in June to raise import tax from August 4 on some U.S. products, including almonds, walnuts and apples, and later delayed the move.

Officials from New Delhi and Washington, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, are scheduled to hold a series of meetings including strategic talks with their Indian counterparts in September.

Trade differences between India and the United States have been rising since President Donald Trump took office. Bilateral trade rose to $115 billion in 2016, but the Trump administration wants to reduce its $31 billion deficit with India, and is pressing New Delhi to ease trade barriers.

India, the world’s biggest buyer of U.S. almonds, in June decided to raise import duties on the commodity by 20 percent, joining the European Union and China in retaliating against Trump’s tariff hikes on steel and aluminum.

It had also planned to impose a 120 percent duty on the import of walnuts in the strongest action yet against the United States.

India has proposed to buy petroleum products from the U.S. to help narrow the trade deficit. The United States has also emerged as a top arms supplier to India and U.S. companies are bidding for military aircraft deals worth billions of dollars.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Aditi Shah in NEW DELHI, and Kanishka Singh in BANGALORE; Editing by Nick Macfie

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