India is looking to raise tariffs on a load of products imported from the US beginning next week, just days ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo aimed at deepening defence and energy ties between the two nations. The decision to impose tariffs on as many as 29 products will be announced this week, according to senior officials, on condition of anonymity citing government rules. Items are expected to include almonds, walnuts and pulses, the Press Trust of India reported.
The decision follows US President Donald Trump’s own on June 1 to end trade concessions on $5.7 billion of goods India shipped to the US as of 2017. These include imitation jewellery, leather products, pharmaceuticals, chemical and plastics and some farm items.
India’s move sends a message to the US that the "trade partnership will have to be on better terms,” said Bipul Chatterjee, executive director of CUTS International, a Jaipur-based think tank. "Although I wouldn’t say this is an extension of the trade war, it certainly is a skirmish -- and one that will help shape India-US ties going forward.”
Pompeo is scheduled to visit India on 24 June. The two countries will also participate at the G-20 meetings in Osaka. India’s exports to the U.S. in 2018-19 stood at $52.40 billion while imports were $35.54 billion.