NEW DELHI: India has asked the United States to exempt it from higher tariffs on steel and aluminium, saying Indian exports of the two products did not pose a security threat to America, three Government officials said. Recently, US President Donald Trump suspended tariffs for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Mexico and the European Union, the biggest US trading partner, until May 1, 2018, as discussions continue.
The administration said countries not on the list could discuss with Washington ways to address US national security concerns caused by imports of steel from that Country.
India's Commerce Ministry has written to the US Government, asking that it also be exempted from the 25 percent levy on steel and 10 percent on aluminium to protect US national security and economic interests, grounds that experts say suggest are primarily aimed against China.
"The tariffs will definitely affect our exports. And clearly, as far as the quantum is concerned and the type of steel is concerned, there is no such thing as a security threat to the US," Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said recently.
The United States accounts for 2 percent of India's steel exports but the move comes at a time when long-festering trade differences between the two countries are already aggravated, triggered by tariffs that India has imposed on dozens of products in recent months as part of steps to boost the domestic industry.