Ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to New Delhi to attend the G20 Summit, India has removed additional duties on about half a dozen US products, including chickpeas, lentils and apples. India had raised import duties on 28 US products in June 2019, after the United States had increased its customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.
In a notification issued on September 5, the Finance Ministry informed about the removal of duties on the products, including chickpeas, lentils (masur), apples, walnuts in shells and almonds fresh or dried, as well as almond shelled.
US President Joe Biden to visit India
The move comes ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to India to attend the G20 Summit on September 9-10, which would be preceded by a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s State visit in June 2023, PM Modi and the Biden administration had agreed to terminate six bilateral trade disputes that were pending at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and also remove the retaliatory tariffs on certain US products. As part of the agreement, India will be removing additional duty on chickpeas (10 per cent), lentils (20 per cent), almonds fresh or dried (Rs 7 per kg), almonds shelled (Rs 20 per kg), walnuts (20 per cent), and apples fresh (20 per cent).
US largest trading partner of India
In July, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha had said the government has decided to remove retaliatory customs duties on import of almonds (fresh or dried, in shell), walnuts, chickpeas, lentils, apples, medical diagnostic reagents, and boric acid.
The removal of retaliatory tariffs or cuts in import duty with the US did not result in a loss to India, she had said. Notably, the US is the largest trading partner of India. In 2022-23, the bilateral goods trade increased to USD 128.8 billion as against USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22.
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(With PTI inputs)
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