The country has the right to protect specific sectors: experts

India has the right to take measures to protect specific sectors like agriculture as it is not a tariff king, according to international trade experts in the country, who have rejected the recent US allegation that India's import duties are one of the highest. Trade Promotion Council of India Chairman Mohit Singla said the US assertion is factually incorrect.

Experts said several developed countries and regions, including Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and the United States maintain extremely high tariffs, primarily on agriculture products.  Singla said that countries like Japan levy 736% duty on certain products, while Korea imposes 807% on some goods.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that India is a ‘tariff king’ and imposes ‘tremendously high’ import duties on US items. Biswajit Dhar, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said that the US allegations are completely unfounded. Sharing similar views, professor R M Joshi from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi said the United States, being a developed nation, should rationalize its duty structure.

The United States recently decided to withdraw incentives being provided to Indian exporters under the generalized system of preference (GSP) program.


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