With the decision to the resolution of six outstanding World Trade Organisation (WTO) disputes between the US and India through mutually agreed solutions as jointly communicated during the state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US, India will remove additional duties on eight US products, including apples, leading to restoration of market access for Indian steel and aluminum exports to the US.
The decision will not result in any negative impact on domestic apple producers and will result in competition in the premium market segment ensuring better quality at better prices for consumers, Commerce Ministry sources said.
After the removal of this duty, the apples from the US would compete on a level playing field with other countries. The decision will ensure that only premium quality apples could be imported for which there exists a specific market segment and specific demand, they added.
An additional 20 percent duty was imposed on US apples in 2019 in response to a US measure to increase tariffs on certain steel and aluminum products.
Official sources, however, were quick to clarify that there is no reduction in the most favored nation (MFN) duty on apples, which is still applicable on all imported apples including in the US at 50 percent.
The import of apples from the world has been stable in the range of $239–305 million (except in 2021-22 when it was $385 million) in the last five financial years since the application of these additional duties on US apples.
The import of apples from the US has decreased from $145 million (127,908 tonnes in 2018-19) to only $5.27 million (4,486 tonnes) in 2022-23.
The market share of the US apples was taken by other countries due to the imposition of additional retaliatory duty on the commodity.