President Donald Trump took a swipe at India, along with the other leading economies, when it accused New Delhi of charging 100 per cent tariff on some American goods. He then threatened to cut trade ties with countries ‘who are robbing America.’
Trump made the remarks in Canada’s Quebec City where he was attending the G-7 summit that ended abruptly when he rejected the text of a consensus statement and bitterly insulted the host.
“We’re like the piggybank that everybody is robbing,” Trump said while addressing a press conference at the G-7. Referring to India he said that his grievances on tariffs was not restricted to the developed economies alone.
“This isn’t just G-7. I mean, we have India, where some of the tariffs are 100 per cent. A hundred per cent. And we charge nothing. We can’t do that. And so we are talking to many countries,” Trump said.
Trump has repeatedly raked up the issue of high import duty charged on the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles. He threatened to increase the import tariff on “thousands and thousands” of Indian motorcycles to the US.
“We’re talking to all countries. And it’s going to stop. Or we’ll stop trading with them. And that’s a very profitable answer, if we have to do it,” Trump warned before leaving Canada for Singapore for the much- publicised summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.
His comments come at a time when the relationship between India and US has been on a positive trajectory for years. For example, bilateral trade expanded by $11 billion last year to more than $125 billion, a new record.
Trump, who is pushing his ‘America First’ policy, said his ultimate goal was the elimination of all trade duties.
“Ultimately that’s what you want,” he said. “You want a tariff free. You want no barriers. And you want no subsidies. Because you have some cases where countries are subsidizing industries and that’s not fair.”
Under President Trump, trade dispute between India and the US has increased, with his administration asking New Delhi to lower its trade barriers and open up its market. However, unlike countries like China, Mexico and Canada and Europe, India is not on top of the trade issues for the Trump administration.
Top trading partners of the US are upset as Washington recently imposed 25 per cent tariff on import of steel and 15 per cent on aluminum.