India set to raise tariffs on some United States goods

As trade tensions heat up between the US and India the leaders of both countries are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit later this month

As trade tensions heat up between the US and India the leaders of both countries are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit later this month

The Narendra Modi government has extended its deadline to impose retaliatory import duties on 29 products from the United States eight times till June 16 due to Lok Sabha elections.

It follows U.S. President Donald Trump's decision on June 1 to end trade concessions on $5.7 billion of goods India shipped to the U.S.as of 2017.

"The retaliatory duties on American items are likely to come into effect after June 16, as the government, last month, had postponed implementation of the duties till that date", the official said.

India's move sends a message to the USA that the "trade partnership will have to be on better terms", said Bipul Chatterjee, executive director of CUTS International, a Jaipur-based think tank.

A spokeswoman from India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry declined to comment.

US-India bilateral trade was worth $142bn (£111bn) in 2018, a sevenfold increase since 2001, according to US figures.

India initially issued an order in June a year ago to raise import taxes as high as 120 percent on a slew of U.S. items, following Washington's refusal to exempt New Delhi from higher steel and aluminium tariffs.

But it delayed raising tariffs several times as trade talks between the world's two biggest democracies raised hopes of a resolution.

Reuters previously reported India was preparing to levy higher tariffs ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first meeting with Trump on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Japan on June 28 and 29.

Last month, Trump has terminated India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme after determining that it has not assured the U.S. that it will provide "equitable and reasonable access to its markets".

Trump has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs, even though the two countries have developed close political and security ties.

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