In the midst of the trade and tariff war between the US and China, the former has become India’s top goods trade partner in 2019, according to official data.
China was India’s largest trade partner. This comes at a time when India has increased tariffs on 28 items exported from the US in retaliation to the latter's withdrawal of preferential access for Indian products. The US is already in the thick of a trade war with China over the past few months now.
According to the Commerce Ministry data, India’s trade deficit with China has dropped to 53 billion dollars in the fiscal under review, down from 63 billion dollars the prior year. The total trade with the US stood at 87,956.24 million dollars while the figure was recorded at 87,069.14 million dollars with China, it added.
The other top ten trading partners include the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Republic of Korea and Indonesia. Meanwhile, the duties India imposed on the export items from the US were in retaliation to its decision to significantly hike customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.
Among the targeted imports, duty on walnut has been hiked from 30 to 120 per cent. Similarly, the duty on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal has been increased from 30 to 70 per cent.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had recently said that America is open to have a dialogue with India so as to resolve differences in trade with India. It also asked for greater access for American companies to the Indian markets. According to the US Department of Agriculture data, India is the largest buyer of US almonds, paying $543 million for more than half of US almond exports in 2018. It is the second largest buyer of the American apples, taking $156 million worth in 2018.