Trump cites In­dia tar­iff on Har­leys, says will fight back

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World - Yash­want Raj yash­want.raj@hin­dus­tan­

he was "sim­ply tryin to give (our) daugh­ter... a mem­o­rable wed­din on South African soil but both the rul­ing ANC and the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Al­liance said this was a "bla­tant abuse of power"

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Tues­day cited once again tar­iff im­posed by In­dia on Har­ley-David­son mo­tor­cy­cles as an ex­am­ple of “un­fair” trade prac­tice that the US must fight back with “re­cip­ro­cal taxes”. Amer­ica doesn’t have a levy on In­dian mo­tor­cy­cle im­ports.

Trump held In­dian tar­iff on Har­ley-David­son as pro­hib­i­tively high that se­verely dis­ad­van­taged it against the com­pe­ti­tion. He first men­tioned it in his in­au­gu­ral ad­dress to a joint sit­ting of US congress in Fe­bru­ary 2017 a few weeks af­ter tak­ing of­fice. But he had not named In­dia then.

He has since been less coy. Talk­ing to US law­mak­ers about trade at the White House, the Pres­i­dent said, “We pay a tremen­dous tax to get into their coun­tries — mo­tor­cy­cles, Har­ley David­son — it goes into a cer­tain coun­try. I won’t men­tion the fact that it hap­pens to be In­dia, in this case.”

Trump went on to talk about a cer­tain “great gen­tle­man” -- he did not name or de­scribe him -who called him to say , “We have just re­duced the tar­iff on mo­tor­cy­cles, re­duced it down to 50% — 5-0 — from 75, and even 100%.”

New Delhi has cut cus­toms duty on high-end im­ported mo­tor­cy­cles to 50%.

Trump said while Har­ley-David­son paid the tax, In­dian bike im­porters paid noth­ing. “And yet they (In­dian com­pa­nies) sell thou­sands and thou­sands of mo­tor­cy­cles, which a lot of peo­ple don’t know, from In­dia into the United States. You know what our tax is? Noth­ing.”

Har­ley-David­son In­dia has an an­nual sale of 3,700, ac­cord­ing to re­ports, but Trump’s claims that In­dian mo­tor­cy­cles sell by the “thou­sands and thou­sands” in the US was called an “ex­ag­ger­a­tion per­haps” by In­dia-US trade watch­ers. The US is not among ma­jor im­porters of In­dian bikes.

In­dia did in­deed have a 100% tar­iff on mo­tor­cy­cles larger than 800cc but the rates have since dropped to 75% and 50% for cer­tain cat­e­gories of big bikes. There is 0% duty on large In­dian bikes com­ing into the US and that for Trump is a case of “un­fair” trade.


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