United States President Donald Trump on Monday said India’s tariff on American motorcycles was too high and not acceptable to him. His comments come even after India reduced the tariff from 100% to 50%.
“We’re not the foolish country that does so badly,” he told CBS news in an interview. “You look at India, very good friend of mine, Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi, you take a look at what they’ve done, 100% tax on a motorcycle. We charge them nothing.”
The US president once again cited the export of Harley Davidson motorbikes to India as an example. “So, when Harley sends over there, they have 100% tax,” he said. “When they [India] send in they make a tremendous number of motorcycles when they send them in, no tax. I called him [Modi]. I said it’s unacceptable.”
Trump said Modi agreed to reduce the tariff to 50% after his phone call. “I said it’s still unacceptable because it’s 50% versus nothing,” said the US president. “It’s still unacceptable. And they’re working on it.”
Trump claimed the US was a bank that everyone wants to rob. “…That’s what they’ve been doing for a long period of time,” he said. “USD 800 billion we have in trade deficits with other countries. So you tell me who made those deals.”
In March, Trump had claimed that India charges America very high tariffs on exports, and called for a reciprocal tax. In February 2018, India had slashed the customs duty on imported motorcycles such as those of Harley Davidson and Triumph after Trump threatened to impose retaliatory taxes.
Trump had first brought up the matter soon after taking office, during his inaugural address to a joint sitting of the US Congress in 2017. He had not named India then, but said the tariff on Harley-Davidson was so high that it put the brand at a disadvantage against its competition.