India drops tariffs on U.S. lentils, almonds ahead of Biden’s visit

India drops tariffs on U.S. lentils, almonds ahead of Biden’s visit

India drops tariffs on U.S. lentils, almonds ahead of Biden’s visit


Two days before US Vice President Joe Biden visits in New Delhi for a bilateral meeting and the G-20 Summit, India has lifted the retaliatory tariffs it had put on imports of some American items such as almonds and lentils, effective September 6.

What are trade tariffs?

A trade tariff is a levy levied on goods traded between countries. Tariffs are a type of foreign trade control. They are a taxation policy that levies imported items in order to support or protect domestic industries. Tariffs are unique to each trade relationship between the exporting and importing countries.

Tariffs can be implemented to: 

  • Increase revenue
  • Protect domestic industry from international competition.

Tariffs can make foreign-made items more expensive, making domestically produced alternatives appear more appealing.

What was the background on trade prices of certain items between India and USA?

  • In June 2019, India increased import tariffs on 28 US items.
  • This measure was made in reaction to the United States government’s decision to raise tariffs on certain steel and aluminum products.

What was the change that happened recently in trade relations between India and USA?

  • A bilateral deal was negotiated between India and the Biden administration in June 2023, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States.
  • The agreement aimed to settle six pending bilateral trade disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • As part of this deal, both countries agreed to reverse tariff increases imposed on select US products such as almonds, walnuts, and apples.

How is this unwinding of trade prices going to effect the almond prices?

  • The Almond Board of California (ABC) welcomed the elimination of retaliatory tariffs, notably for almonds, a substantial US export to India.
  • The following tariff rates have been decreased for almonds:
    • Tariff on in-shell almonds lowered to 35 per kilogram (formerly 41 per kg).
    • Tariff on almond kernels reduced to $100 per kg (formerly $120 per kg).
  • This decrease is projected to stimulate demand for almonds in India while also lowering prices for Indian customers.


In summary, the decision to lift retaliatory tariffs on select US imports, notably almonds and lentils, is a positive development in India-US economic relations. It is the result of a bilateral agreement to settle trade disputes and strives to improve trade conditions for both countries. The emphasis on tariff reduction and technical hurdles is considered as a step toward stronger trade relations between the two countries.