WTO headquarters
World Trade Organisation (WTO) headquarters in Geneva.Reuters

The United States has filed a complaint against India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for violating international trade norms after New Delhi increased customs duties on 28 American goods.

The US told WTO on Thursday that the additional imposition of customs by India "appears to nullify or impair the benefits to the US directly or indirectly" under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)1994 pact, reported PTI.

The application to the WTO accused India of applying high duty rates on the US imports despite the rates standardised in India's schedule of concessions. It said that the duty imposed is inconsistent with the duty on products originating from other WTO member countries. 

The US has sought to settle the dispute through consultation. "We look forward to receiving your reply to the present request and to fixing a mutually convenient date to hold consultations," said the application.

India imposed retaliatory taxes on 28 American good last month, including walnuts, pulses, chickpeas, boric acid, etc after US scrapped India's trade privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

India had earlier warned (in 2018) that it intended to impose high import duties on a number of goods after US refused to exempt India from higher steel and aluminium tariffs. Both the countries have raised issues such as India's export-boosting schemes and hike on Indian steel and aluminium to the WTO.

The American delegation will be visiting India next week to discuss bilateral trade relations between the two countries. Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal is also likely to be travelling to Washington in the next few weeks to discuss and find common ground amid escalating trade tensions.

In February 2018, India slashed customs duty on imported motorcycles like Harley-Davidson to 50 per cent after the US threatened to impose retaliatory taxes.

According to the US Trade Representative, India is its ninth-largest good's trading partner. In 2017-18, India's exports to the US was $47.9 billion while Indian exports stood at $26.7 billion.