India to impose delayed tariffs on some US goods in September

The Trump administration wants to reduce its $31 billion deficit with India, and is pressing New Delhi to ease trade barriers. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 04 August 2018

India to impose delayed tariffs on some US goods in September

  • New Delhi decided in June to raise import tax from August 4 on some US products but delayed the move
  • Trade differences between India and the United States have been rising since President Donald Trump took office

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 $115 billion in 2016, but the Trump administration wants to reduce its $31 billion deficit with India, and is pressing New Delhi to ease trade barriers.
India, the world’s biggest buyer of US almonds, in June decided to raise import duties on the commodity by 20 percent, joining the European Union and China in retaliating against Trump’s tariff hikes on steel and aluminum.
It had also planned to impose a 120 percent 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.


Deal on oil cuts ‘close’ as Saudi Arabia enlists G20

Updated 07 April 2020

Deal on oil cuts ‘close’ as Saudi Arabia enlists G20

  • ‘Virtual’ energy summit on Friday in new effort to stabilize market

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia plans to use its presidency of the powerful G20 group of nations in efforts to restore balance to global oil markets.

The Kingdom is organizing a special meeting of G20 energy ministers — including the other two biggest producers, the US and Russia — to discuss cuts to output.

The “virtual” summit is scheduled for Friday, the day after an OPEC+ meeting of oil producers. Crucially, the US, which is not an OPEC member, will be involved in the G20 summit, energy secretary Dan Brouillette said.

The initiative emerged after a weekend phone call between Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, the Saudi energy minister, and Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. The involvement of the G20 is part of the group’s remit, Birol told Arab News on Monday.

“The job description of the G20 is to provide and maintain financial stability, so it is in line with their aims,” he said.

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“The oil industry is going through one of the worst times in its history, and this could have major implications for the global economy, financial markets and employment. Saudi Arabia has been a stabilizing factor in the markets for many years.”

Saudi Arabia and Russia were “very, very close” to a deal to cut oil output, said Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a close confidant of President Vladimir Putin. An agreement would “bring so much important stability to the market,” he said.

Nevertheless, significant challenges remain. So far, talks between OPEC+ members have focused on a cut of about 10 million barrels per day. This would not be enough to outweigh global market oversupply estimated at more than 20 million barrels, amid a demand slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

There are also concerns about whether US producers would be permitted to take part in cuts. American antitrust law prohibits cartel practices, which would rule out a concerted move by its many oil companies.

Some energy experts have suggested that action by the Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the energy business in the biggest US oil state, could help limit overall US output.

On the markets, amid the continuing uncertainty, Brent crude was trading about 5 percent down, at just over $32.