US slams India for high import tariffs on Harley-Davidson
Washington:US President Donald Trump today slammed India for a high import tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycle, calling it “unfair”, even as New Delhi slashed customs duty on imported motorcycles from high-end brands to 50%.
Trump, during a discussion with members of the Congress over steel industry, also threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian motorcycles to the US.
He said the recent decision of the Indian government to reduce the tariff from 75% to 50% was not enough and asked that it should be reciprocal, as the US imposes “zero tax” on the import of motorcycles.
“We have so many countries where we made a product, they make a product, …We pay a tremendous tax to get into their countries — motorcycles, Harley Davidson — it goes into a certain country. I won’t mention the fact that it happens to be India, in this case,” Trump said amid laughter from the audience.
In fact, he also indirectly referred to the recent conversation he had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.
“And a great gentleman called me from India and he said, we have just reduced the tariff on motorcycles, reduced it down to 50% from 75, and even 100%,” Trump said in an apparent reference to his last week’s conversation with Prime Minister Modi.
“We have — if you are Harley Davidson, you have 50 to 75% tax, tariff to get your motorcycle, your product in. And yet they sell thousands and thousands of motorcycles, which a lot of people don’t know, from India into the United States. You know what our tax is? Nothing,” he told the lawmakers and his other Cabinet colleagues.
Trump once again pitched for a “reciprocal tax” on countries that he says abuse their trade relationships with the US. “So, I say, we should have reciprocal taxes for a case like that. I’m not blaming India. I think it’s great that they can get away with it. I don’t know why people allowed them to get away with it. But there’s an example that’s very unfair. I think we should have a reciprocal tax,” he said.