US tells India to cut tariffs as trade friction heats up


US businesses and diplomats are pressing India to cut tariffs, industry and government sources say, after New Delhi’s move to increase customs duties on dozens of products to help its flagship Make-in-India drive aggravated differences over trade.

Ford, which has two plants in India, has sought a reversal of the new tariffs on auto components, while Apple Inc is concerned its iPhones have become even more expensive in the price-conscious USD 10 billion smartphone market.

India and the United States have built close political ties and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Washington last summer, bear-hugging President Donald Trump in his personalised style of diplomacy. But trade friction is casting a shadow.

A US State Department spokesperson told Reuters India must lower trade barriers, which were holding back economic ties.