By Lalit K Jha
(Eds: Correcting headline )
Washington, Apr 4 (PTI) India is one of the highest taxing nations in the world, US President Donald Trump has alleged as he again slammed the country for imposing 100 per cent tariffs on American products, including the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Such a high tariff is not fair, Trump said Tuesday during National Republican Congressional Committee Annual Spring Dinner here.
Early this year, at a White House event to announce 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 said at that time.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that India is a “tariff king” and imposes “tremendously high” tariffs on American products.
“I got a call from Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi of India. They’re one of the highest taxing nations in the world. They taxed us 100 per cent,” Trump said reiterating his often-heard remarks on Indian tariff structure.
“They charge us 100 per cent tariffs on goods. So they send a motorcycle–and they make a lot of them–Indian cycles. They send them to our country, we charge them nothing. We send a Harley Davidson to India and they charge us 100 per cent. Not fair, okay. Not reciprocal. It’s not fair,” Trump said.
During his address to the National Republican Congressional Committee Annual Spring Dinner, Trump explained how his trade policies are successfully addressing the balance of trade issue with other countries.
Trade talks with China are going on very well, he said.
The world’s two largest economies are locked in a trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March last year, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war.
Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on USD 250 billion of Chinese goods. In response, China, the world’s second largest economy after the US, imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on USD 110 billion of American goods.
Top trade officials from America and China are holding talks to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal.
“I think we’re doing very well. They need the deal more than we do. They need the deal. And they getting hurt badly with they’re paying 25 per cent on USD 50 billion worth of technology stuff and they were going to pay 25 per cent on another USD 200 billion,” he said.
Trump said his administration is fixing broken trade deals to protect the American workers.
“We are standing up to China’s chronic trading abuses and theft of intellectual properties and so many other things that they’ve done to us,” he said.
“I don’t know how you people allowed this to happen for so many years. You’ve been here longer than me. But they really have, they’ve taken advantage of our country. And you know what? I respect them for it. I say it. We should have been doing that to them, he said.
Trump described Chinese President Xi Jinping as a king.
“I was in China making a speech,” Trump recounted.
“President Xi, who is a strong man, I call him ‘king.’ He said, ‘But I am not king, I am president’. I said, ‘No, you are president for life, and therefore you are king.’ He said, ‘Huh. Huh.’ He liked that. I call him ‘king.’ I get along with him great,” he said.
“So I call him King. I get along with them great. But I was really hitting him hard about how they’ve hurt our country. And I had 5,000 Chinese people, I’m China, I’m in Beijing doing this, can you believe it? And I’m looking down, he’s getting angrier and angrier. And then I saved it. I said, “You know, I don’t blame you. I blame the leaders of our country for allowing it to happen.” And it’s really true. We should never have allowed that to happen, Trump said.