“India’s bilateral relations with Iran, and the United States stand on their own merit and are not influenced by relations between other countries,” Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri said in Parliament on Wednesday.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, he said that the government “consistently monitors all developments with a bearing on its national interest and takes necessary measures to safeguard and protect the same”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo branded Iran as a “state sponsor of terror” during his Delhi visit late last month.
The US imposed additional tariff of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminum respectively under section 232 of Trade Expansion Act, 1962 in March last year on a global basis. While India’s steel export in the affected lines to US declined by 35% during the FY 2018-19 compared to FY 2017-18, aluminum export in the affected lines have increased by 14% during the same period.
“India has been engaged with the US on this issue, as part of the ongoing bilateral trade dialogue. The US did not accede to India’s request for withdrawal of these duties,” Puri said.
In response, India imposed retaliatory tariffs on 28 products originating or exported from the US with effect from June 16, which have already been disputed by Washington at the World Trade Organization.
India’s trade surplus with the US reduced to $16.8 billion in 2018-19 from $21.2 billion in FY18 on higher purchases of oil and gas and civilian aircraft.