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India’s hiking tariffs on 19 items will hurt its consumers, say Chinese experts

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Beijing, Sept 30: Last week, India hiked import duties on 19 "non-essential items" to stabilize its falling rupee and the decision earned its share of criticism, including from China.

China's Global Times came up with a piece which cited experts as saying that the use of tariffs to curb the imports of the 19 items that include air conditioners, refrigerators, footwear, etc. could mainly hit companies in China and South Korea.

India’s hiking tariffs on 19 items will hurt its consumers, say Chinese experts

"China manufactures some of the high-end washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners sold in India," Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday, adding that the move is contrary to global free trade.

Also Read | Customs duty hiked on 'non-essential items', flying, ACs, refrigerators to cost more

"India is making a further tilt toward protectionism, which runs counter to trade liberalization and facilitation," he said.

Liu Xiaoxue, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' National Institute of International Strategy, told the Times that India took the decision to tackle its widening current account deficit and arrest a sharp slide of rupee.

He said such a move will hurt the Indian consumers more.

Also Read | India-US trade relationship have most friction: White House

"Given (the tariffs are) on all foreign producers, the host country's customers will actually be hurt more.These items are called non-essential, but they look more like daily necessities," he was quoted as saying.

He also said that the move will have a negative impact on Chinese firms since their products are India's largest source of imports but added that it will not be too bad.

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