US President Donald Trump on Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference said that India was a “very high tariff nation” and he wanted to charge “a reciprocal tax” to match the heavy duties that New Delhi applied on products imported from the US.
“India is a very high tariff nation. When we send a motorcycle to India, they charge 100 per cent tariff. When India sends a motorcycle to us, we charge nothing. I want a reciprocal tax, at least I want to charge a tax,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
He used the Indian example to show how other countries were imposing high taxes on American products and now it was time for the US to impose a reciprocal tax.
“I say, fellows, listen, they are charging us a hundred per cent. For the exact same product, I want to charge them 25 per cent. I feel so foolish charging 25, because it should be a hundred. But I’m doing 25 only because of you. I want to get your support,” he said.
“America is now booming like never before. Other countries are doing very poorly,” Trump said.
In his support for reciprocal tax, Trump had said he was satisfied with the Indian decision to reduce the import tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles from 100 per cent to 50 per cent. “Even this is not enough, this is okay,” he had said.
“Look at motorcycles as an example. (In) India, it was 100 per cent. I got them down to 50 per cent, just by talking for about two minutes. It’s still 50 per cent vs 2.4 per cent (on imported motorcycles to the US). Again, other than that, it’s a very fair deal,” the president had told reporters at the White House on January 24.