What Does India’s Major Defence Partner Status Have To Do With Steel Tariffs?

US President Donald Trump’s senior trade advisor Peter Navarro argued that the recently announced 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminium should apply to all countries—no exemptions. Days after that announcement, the Trump administration reversed course, allowing a temporary exemption for Canada and Mexico, while the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is being renegotiated. “I’ll have a right to go up or down depending on the country, and I’ll have a right to drop out countries or add countries,” said the President.

Most recently, the US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer announced that the US has requested dispute settlement consultations at the WTO with the government of India. USTR cited India’s benefits to Indian steel producers among other subsidies as examples of how India has created an uneven playing field for US companies and workers. India’s secretary of commerce Rita Teaotia argued that the moves do not constitute a trade war and that, wherever there are differences, they will be resolved. Read More…

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