Donald Trump criticises India over high tariffs, threatens to impose reciprocal tax

US President Donald Trump on Saturday accused India of being a “high tariff” nation and threatened to charge a reciprocal tax to match heavy duties imposed on goods imported from the United States.

Trump’s statement came while he was addressing the last day of the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland.

“India is a very high tariff nation. When we send a motorcycle to India, they charge 100 per cent tariff. When India sends a motorcycle to us, we charge nothing. I want a reciprocal tax, at least I want to charge a tax,” said Trump.

A reciprocal tax can be defined as a form of a tariff to imports from other countries that charge a similar duty on imports from the US.

This is not the first time Donald Trump has called out to India over high import duties. “But let me tell you something. The world respects our country. They respect us,” he added.

India and US were engaged in a minor trade tussle in 2018 when the US took action against certain trade policies, which allegedly favoured Indian traders, thus disrupting the balance of trade.

On February 6, another disciplinary action was taken by the US against India’s trade and investment policies as it withdrew the policy of zero tariffs on Indian exports to the US.

Under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), India used to enjoy tariff concession to the tune of USD5.6 billion worth of exports. However, the move to withdraw GSP is expected to reduce US trade deficit with other economies in the world.


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