The United States President Donald Trump on Friday threatened that the United States will levy reciprocal tax on countries such as India and China if they don't match America's tariff.
The amount is a drop in the bucket when compared with the record $375.2 billion trade deficit the USA racked up with China a year ago.
February's surplus did edge downwards from the $21.9 billion recorded in January and $25.6 billion from December.
Indian government officials have claimed its steel and aluminium exporters are unlikely to face a major hit as U.S. is not a key market.
China today presented an upbeat picture of its ties with India and said that both countries should shed suspicion and manage differences by meeting half way, toning down its tough posture against New Delhi after the tense Dokalam standoff. On Wednesday, Trump hinted that his restrictions on trade could run even deeper, citing China's alleged theft of intellectual property.
Last week, Trump said "trade wars are good, and easy to win" when the U.S.is losing billions on trade.
Trump is expected to make a formal announcement regarding his plan to slap 25% tariff on import of steel and 10% on aluminium late on Thursday.
The foreign minister said Beijing was committed to peaceful development, and greater cooperation was needed to address issues like trade and North Korea. "We're going to be doing a reciprocal tax programme, " Trump said at a White House event where he simplified the tariff issue for his working class base.More news: Shiffrin repeats as World Cup champ
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He made the comments during a news briefing as part of the annual meeting of China's parliament in Beijing on Thursday.
Trump's administration has faced growing opposition to the tariffs from prominent congressional Republicans and business officials anxious about their potential impact on the economy. President Trump had also mentioned that American companies were not being treated fairly by other nations.
Trump wants to renegotiate the NAFTA and a White House official linked any extension of the exemption to progress in NAFTA talks. While Britons have voted to leave the European Union, the country remains a member until next year. While removing tariffs on some of these items (say California almonds and Washington apples) could hurt local farmers, it will mean lower prices at stores urban Indian elites frequent.
In its representation before the USTR on a Special 301 hearing, United States lobby group Alliance for Fair Trade with India on Thursday urged the USA government to again place India in the priority watch list. But that has not stopped Trump from claiming trade distorting measures by India.
USA imports from China of these two goods make up a small proportion of its total imports from the world's second largest economy.
While Beijing has launched warning shots-like trade investigations into USA goods such as sorghum, and hinted it could even take on soybeans, its largest US import-officials have worked to find a peaceful resolution.
During a discussion with members of the Congress on the steel industry, Trump said the recent decision of the Indian government to reduce the tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles from 75% to 50% was not enough and asked that it should be reciprocal, as the U.S. imposes "zero tax" on the import of Indian motorcycles.
Trudeau declined to say whether or how Canada would retaliate.