Washington: India is one of the highest taxing nations in the world, US President Donald Trump has alleged as he again slammed the country for imposing 100% tariffs on American products, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Such a high tariff is not fair, Trump said during the National Republican Congressional Committee Annual Spring Dinner. Early this year, at a White House event to announce his support for reciprocal tax, Trump had said he was satisfied with India's decision to reduce the import tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles from 100% to 50%. "Even this is not enough, this is okay," he said at that time.
Trump had repeatedly claimed that India was a "tariff king" and imposed "tremendously high" tariffs on American products.
"I got a call from Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi of India. They are one of the highest taxing nations in the world. They taxed us 100%," Trump said, reiterating his often-heard remarks on Indian tariff structure. "They charge us 100% tariffs on goods. So they send a motorcycle — and they make a lot of them — Indian cycles. They send them to our country, we charge them nothing. We send a Harley Davidson to India and they charge us 100%. Not fair, okay. Not reciprocal. It's not fair," Trump said.
The US President explained how his trade policies were successfully addressing the balance of trade issue with other countries. Trade talks with China were going on very well, he said.
The world's two-largest economies are locked in a trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March last year, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war. Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25% on $250 billion of Chinese goods. In response, China, the world's second-largest economy after the US, imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on $110 billion of American goods.
Top trade officials from America and China were holding talks to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal, Trump said. "I think we're doing very well. They need the deal more than we do. They need the deal. And they getting hurt badly with they're paying 25% on $50 billion worth of technology stuff and they were going to pay 25% on another $200 billion."
Trump said his administration was fixing broken trade deals to protect the American workers. "We are standing up to China's chronic trading abuses and theft of intellectual properties and so many other things that they've done to us.
"I don't know how you people allowed this to happen for so many years. You have been here longer than me. But they really have, they have taken advantage of our country. And you know what? I respect them for it. I say it. We should have been doing that to them."
Trump described Chinese President Xi Jinping as a king. "I was in China making a speech," he recounted. "President Xi, who is a strong man, I call him 'king.' He said, 'But I am not king, I am president'. I said, 'No, you are president for life, and therefore you are king.' He said, 'Huh. Huh.' He liked that. I call him 'king.' I get along with him great," he said. "So I call him King. I get along with them great. But I was really hitting him hard about how they have hurt our country. And I had 5,000 Chinese people, I am China, I am in Beijing doing this, can you believe it? And I am looking down, he is getting angrier and angrier. And then I saved it. I said, "You know, I do not blame you. I blame the leaders of our country for allowing it to happen." And it's really true. We should never have allowed that to happen," Trump said.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed