On Tuesday, President Donald Trump once again raised questions on the high import duty on Harley-Davidson motorcycles by India. He said that US was “getting nothing” after the New Delhi’s recently slashed customs duty on imported motorcycles from high-end brands to 50 percent adding that the US wanted fair and reciprocal trade deals. This is the second time in a month that Trump raised this issue. Earlier, he had called it “unfair” and threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian motorcycles to the US, notes PTI.
“When they (Harley Davidson) send a motorcycle to India, as an example, they have to pay 100 percent tax, 100 percent,” Trump said in his remarks to a gathering of governors of all the states at the White House. Referring to his recent conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the “fantastic man” informed him that India has reduced tariffs on imported motorcycles, but the US was “getting nothing,” Trump was quoted by PTI.
“Now, the prime minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day and said we are lowering it to 50 percent. I said okay, but so far we’re getting nothing. So we get nothing. He gets 50 (percent), and they think we’re doing like they’re doing us a favour. That’s not a favour,” he added.
Imitating Prime Minister Modi by folding his hands and taking on a soft and serious tone, President Trump further said, “I wasn’t sure, he said it so beautifully. He’s a beautiful man. And he said, ‘I just want to inform you that we have reduced it to 75, but we have further reduced it to 50’. And I said, huh. What do I say? Am I supposed to be thrilled? And that’s not good for you people, especially as governors. It’s just not right. And we have many deals like that.”
According to ANI, Earlier in January, US media reported that Trump is known to affect an Indian accent and imitate Prime Minister Modi.
The US president also asserted that the US gets “zero” in turn when it purchases an Indian motorcycle. “So when they have a motorbike, a big number, by the way — they have a company that does a lot of business. They have a motorcycle or a motorbike that comes into our country — the number is zero. We get zero. They get 100 percent, brought down to 75; brought down, now, to 50. Okay,” Trump said.
“It’s a great company. When I spoke with your chairman or the president of Harley, they weren’t even asking for it because they’ve been ripped off with a trade so long that they were surprised that I brought it up. I’m the one that’s pushing it more than they are, but it’s unfair. And India sells us a lot of motorbikes,” Trump said.
On February 14, Trump had complained during a meeting with US lawmakers that India's tariff on the import of American motorcycles was too high.