NEW DELHI: India’s trade ministry has proposed that the government delays by a month the imposition of retaliatory tariffs on some US goods that were due to go into effect from April 1, a trade ministry spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday.
Trade friction between India and the United States has escalated after US President Donald Trump announced plans earlier this month to end preferential trade treatment for India that allows duty-free entry for up to $5.6 billion worth of its exports to the United States.
Indian officials believe India could lose its preferential treatment in early May. The Indian government has asked the US administration to review its decision, two government officials with close knowledge of the matter said.
In June last year, India said it would increase import duties varying from 20 per cent to 120pc on a slew of US farm, steel and iron products, angered by Washington’s refusal to exempt it from new steel and aluminium tariffs.
But since then, New Delhi has repeatedly delayed the implementation of the higher duties.
The trade ministry spokeswoman said the government planned to send a delegation to Washington to address bilateral trade issues, and that the ministry was seeking to hold off imposing retaliatory tariffs until May.
“The Ministry of Commerce has requested the Department of Revenue to extend the deadline for imposition of tariffs on US goods by another 30 days,” the spokeswoman said.
India is the world’s largest beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which dates from the 1970s.