India just increased tariffs on US exports, dealing another blow to fragile global trade.
The tariffs on 28 US products, announced on Saturday by India’s Finance Ministry, went into effect Sunday. The goods targeted include American apples — which will be hit with a 70% tariff — as well as almonds, lentils and several chemical products.
India first announced plans to impose new tariffs a year ago in retaliation for increased US import duties on Indian steel and aluminum. But it repeatedly delayed imposing them while the two sides held a series of trade talks.
The Indian government did not specify the value of the goods targeted in its statement, but previously told the World Trade Organization that they were worth around $241 million.
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The two countries exchange goods and services worth about $142 billion a year, but the relationship has soured in recent weeks after the Trump administration ended India’s participation in a preferential trade program earlier this month. The program exempted Indian goods worth more than $6 billion from US import duties in 2018.
One of President Donald Trump’s biggest priorities has been reducing the United States’ trade deficits with countries around the world. Last month, his administration increased tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and it’s threatening to target another $300 billion of exports from the world’s second largest economy. Business is warning of damage to the US economy.
India runs a small surplus in goods trade with the United States, exporting around $54 billion to the United States in 2018 and buying about $33 billion worth of American goods, according to US government data.
Trump has repeatedly slammed India’s tariffs on products like motorcycles and whiskey, and his decision to revoke trade privileges for India followed complaints from American dairy farmers and medical device manufacturers that tariffs imposed by New Delhi were hurting their exports.