United States President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was going to talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the Indian government’s decision to increase tariffs on American products, saying it was unacceptable and “must be withdrawn”. Trump is scheduled to meet Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the city of Osaka in Japan.
“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,” Trump tweeted.
The US president’s comments came a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Modi and held talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar to discuss a host of matters, including the impasse in bilateral trade relations.
After his meeting with Jaishankar, Pompeo said he differed with the minister’s views on the current state of trade relations between the two countries. He also added that the difference should be taken “in the spirit of friendship” and that he was hopeful of resolving the matter.
Before leaving the United States, the secretary of state had also raised concerns about tariffs imposed by India on 28 US products after the US withdrew its trade privileges. “I do hope, and remain open – and we remain open to dialogue, and hope that our friends in India will drop their trade barriers and trust in the competitiveness of their own companies, their own businesses, their own people, and private sector companies,” he had added.
Modi reached Japan on Thursday morning and is likely to meet Trump on Friday, India Today reported, citing the White House. Modi will also join Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump for a trilateral meeting on Friday.
Trade relations between India and the United States have frayed in the recent past. On June 10, Trump had said India’s tariff on American motorcycles was too high and not acceptable to him. His comments came even after India halved the tariff from 100% to 50%. Trump has claimed the United States is a bank that everyone wants to rob.