06/17/2019, 10.30
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Modi against Trump: Delhi imposes duties on 28 American goods

The tarriffs went into effect yesterday. The volume of trade between the two countries was 142 billion dollars in 2018. Blocked products include almonds, apples and nuts.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Following Washington's decision to obliterate India from the list of countries enjoying privileged trade status, Delhi has decided to impose new tariffs on 28 goods imported from the United States. The commercial measure came into effect yesterday and applies to some of the goods of which India is the largest importer: almonds, apples and walnuts.

Delhi authorities had announced the move in June last year, but it  was postponed after negotiations between the governments. Some of the tariffs applied since yesterday provide for a reduction up to 70% in the volume of trade. According to the Indian Ministry of Finance, the economic measure is "in national interest".

Trade between India and the United States has reached record levels: in 2018 the volume of goods and services was $ 142 billion, seven times the level of 2001. According to the US Department of Agriculture, last year, India was the world's largest buyer of American almonds ($ 543 million), the second largest for the purchase of apples ($ 156 million).

Now about 5.6 billion exchanges between the two countries are at risk due to the elimination of India from the list of countries that benefit from the generalized system of preferences (GSP, Generalized System of Preferences).

This is a program created by Washington in the 1970s, which provides for trade in goods without the imposition of customs taxes. It is aimed at developing countries that meet a number of requirements set by Congress: protection of intellectual property, combating child labor, compliance with international rules on workers' rights.

According to President Trump's administration, India no longer "deserves" the privileged system because of its high levels of economic growth. However, although high, the numbers have been rigged for electoral purposes.

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