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India to impose tariffs on some US goods in September

[NEW DELHI] India said on Saturday that delayed higher tariffs against some goods imported from the United States will go into force on September 18.

New Delhi, incensed by Washington's refusal to exempt it from new tariffs, decided in June to raise import tax from August 4 on some US products, including almonds, walnuts and apples, and later delayed the move.

Officials from New Delhi and Washington, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, are scheduled to hold a series of meetings including strategic talks with their Indian counterparts in September.

Trade differences between India and the United States have been rising since President Donald Trump took office. Bilateral trade rose to US$115 billion in 2016, but the Trump administration wants to reduce its US$31 billion deficit with India, and is pressing New Delhi to ease trade barriers.

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India, the world's biggest buyer of US almonds, in June decided to raise import duties on the commodity by 20 per cent, joining the European Union and China in retaliating against Mr Trump's tariff hikes on steel and aluminium.

It had also planned to impose a 120 per cent duty on the import of walnuts in the strongest action yet against the United States.

India has proposed to buy petroleum products from the US to help narrow the trade deficit. The United States has also emerged as a top arms supplier to India and US companies are bidding for military aircraft deals worth billions of dollars.

REUTERS