The Trump regime recently ended duty-free access to a wide range of Indian goods which means that billions of dollars of goods that could be imported freely are now subject to tariffs.
To put it simply, Trump more or less ended a tax break on imports from India and India responded to Trump's actions by imposing tariffs of their own.
The tariffs on almost 30 American products came in response to higher duties imposed by the U.S. and Trump’s move June 1 to end trade concessions on $6.3 billion of Indian goods. Modi’s administration repeatedly deferred the move, originally announced in June last year, as it sought to relieve trade tensions through talks.
India levies an average tariff of 6.94% on imports, slightly higher than 6.01% in the U.S. and 6.06% in China, according to World Bank data as of 2017. But, what particularly riled Trump was New Delhi imposing tariffs as high as 100% on Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles -- an issue he had flagged in a joint address to Congress in February 2017.
Now, in customary fashion, Trump is angry that India is retaliating rather than simply bending over to take it.
I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019
When Trump made the decision to end India's privileged status and impose tariffs that had previously been deferred, he claimed that India is a "very high-tariff nation" that charges "tremendous numbers," but that's not true. Or at least it wasn't before Trump.
India's retaliatory tariffs on American goods will hit the agricultural industry -- again -- with tariffs as high as 70 percent(!) on apples and almonds, among other things. The U.S. exports over $33 billion in goods to India each year and India exports over $55 billion in goods to the U.S. as of 2018 according to the office of the United States Trade Representative, but these new tariffs could obviously make a small dent in those totals.
India has never purchased the amount of American goods that China did in the past, but this is yet another market that American farmers and other producers are losing access to.
I don't know if this will develop into a full-blown trade war with India, but it could be the beginning of one.