Donald Trump rakes up high import tariffs by India, says would impose reciprocal tax – Times of India

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WASHINGTON: Former US President Donald Trump, who is vying for another term, has once again brought up the issue of India imposing high taxes on specific American goods, notably the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles. He has issued a warning that if he secures victory in the 2024 presidential elections, he intends to impose corresponding taxes on Indian products.
This is not the first time that Trump is raking high import tariff imposed by India on certain products. Trump labeled India as a “tariff king” in 2018. In May 2019, he terminated India’s preferential market access under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) arrangement, citing India’s failure to grant the US fair and reasonable market access.
After Trump’s criticism, India had slashed customs duty on high-end imported bikes from 75% to 50%. Tump had also raised high Indian duty on American whiskey.
In an interview with Larry Kudlow of Fox Business News, Trump criticized India’s elevated tax rates, which he asserted were considerably high.
Discussing the matter, the former president stated, “Another point I’d like to emphasize is the concept of a reciprocal tax. India has been imposing substantial tariffs, especially evident in the case of Harley-Davidson. I questioned how Harley-Davidson fares in a market like India. The response was negative due to exorbitant tariffs—100 percent, 150 percent, even 200 percent.”
Continuing, he explained, “Essentially, Indian-made motorcycles enter our country without any tax or tariff. However, when we send over Harley-Davidson motorcycles, they face prohibitive tariffs, stifling business prospects. When I inquired about this, their proposal was for us to establish a plant in India, thereby evading tariffs. I contested this, as it was contrary to our interests. While I addressed this firmly, it’s important to note that India holds significant economic influence. Likewise, Brazil also imposes substantial tariffs. I encountered resistance, even from individuals like a senator from Pennsylvania whom I admire. I posed a question: If India levies a 200 percent charge on us and we impose no tariffs on their products, should we reciprocate with a 100 percent tariff? The response was negative, as it would be considered inconsistent with the concept of free trade. This dialogue reveals a significant issue.”
Trump elaborated, “If India implements tariffs against us, my approach is one of reciprocity. This could be interpreted as retribution or under a different term. If they impose charges on us, we reciprocate.”
The former president, who is contending with a series of legal cases and allegations, is leading the Republican presidential primaries. Major national polls indicate that he commands over half of the GOP votes.
(With inputs from agencies)





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