Trump says will slap reciprocal tax on India if voted to power

Trump says will slap reciprocal tax on India if voted to power

IANS Photo

Washington, August 21 (IANS) Reiterating that India imposes high tariffs on American companies that manufacture motorcycles and cars, former US President Donald Trump has said he will slap reciprocal tax if voted to power in 2024.

Referring to the import tariff on the Harley Davidson motorcycles, Trump has been wanting India to reduce the export duty to zero since 2019 when he was the president.

In an interview on Fox Business News, Trump said: "What would happen if America imposes a similar tax on Indian products entering the US? The other thing I want to have is a matching tax where, if India charges us -- India is very big with tariffs. I mean, I saw it with Harley-Davidson.

"I was saying, how do you do in a place like India? Oh, no good sir. Why? They have 100 per cent and 150 per cent and 200 per cent tariffs."

"So, I said, so they can sell their Indian motorbike. They make a bike, an Indian motorbike. They can sell that into our country with no tax, no tariff, but when you make a Harley, when you send it over there -- because they were doing no business. I said,

"How come you don't do business with India? The tariff is so high that nobody wants it. But what they want us to do is, they want us to go over and build a plant, and then you have no tariff."

The former President went on to say that "if India is charging us too, so what I want to have is a... call it retribution".

"You could call it whatever you want. If they are charging us, we charge them,” he said in response to a question.

In an earlier interview to CBS News in 2019, Trump, who is currently facing a series of court cases and indictments, had said that the US could no longer be fooled under his leadership.

"We're not the foolish country that does so badly. You look at India, a very good friend of mine, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, you take a look at what they've done, 100 per cent tax on a motorcycle. We charge them nothing."

India had slashed the customs duty on the Wisconsin-based motorcycle maker to 50 per cent in 2018 after Trump called it "unfair" and threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian bikes to the US.

Calling it still unacceptable, the former President had rued that America is a bank that everybody wants to "rob".

The Harley Davidson brand entered the Indian market in 2007 after the US agreed to lift the ban on India’s mango exports to the US.