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Trump slams India's 50% import tariff on Harley-Davidson, calls it 'unfair'

Trump, during a discussion with members of the Congress over steel industry, also threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian motorcycles to the US

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Donald Trump
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

US President on Wednesday criticised for imposing a high import duty on the iconic motorcycles and threatened to increase the import tariff on “thousands and thousands” of Indian motorcycles to the US. During a discussion with members of the Congress on the steel industry, Trump said the recent decision of the Indian government to reduce the tariff from 75 per cent to 50 per cent was not enough and asked that it should be reciprocal, as the US imposes ‘zero tax’ on the import of motorcycles. “We pay a tremendous tax to get into their countries — motorcycles, — it goes into a certain country. I won’t mention the fact that it happens to be India, in this case,” the US President said, amidst laughter from the audience. Trump also indirectly referred to the recent conversation he had with in this regard. “And a great gentleman called me from and he said, we have just reduced the tariff on motorcycles, reduced it to 50 per cent from 75, and even 100 per cent’,” Trump said in an apparent reference to his last week’s conversation with “If you are Harley-Davidson, you have 50 to 75 per cent tax, tariff to get your motorcycle, your product in. And yet they sell thousands and thousands of motorcycles, which a lot of people don’t know, from into the US. You know what our tax is? Nothing!” he told the lawmakers and his Cabinet colleagues. Trump once again pitched for a “reciprocal tax” on countries that he says “abuse” their with the US. “So I say we should have reciprocal taxes for a case like that. I am not blaming I think it’s great that they can get away with it. I don’t know why people allowed them to get away with it.

But there’s an example that’s very unfair. And I think we should have a reciprocal tax,” the US President said. Trump has floated the idea of a in the past, promising to slap it on countries, including allies, that take advantage of the US and its huge market. “That’s called fair trade. It’s called Because ultimately, what’s going to happen - either we’ll collect the same that they’re collecting, or, probably, what happens is they’ll end up not charging a tax and we won’t have a tax. And that becomes free trade,” Trump said. Imported motorcycles from high-end brands, including and Triumph, are set to become cheaper as the government slashed Customs duty to 50 per cent. Earlier, import of motorcycles with of 800cc or less used to attract 60 per cent duty, while those with capacity of 800cc or more attracted 75 per cent duty. The Central Board of Excise and Customs, through a notification on February 12, has slashed the duty on both these variants of motorcycles imported as completely built units to 50 per cent. Indian industry experts said the import duty rates have been rationalised for these motorcycles as it has been an industry demand for long and such high-end bikes are not manufactured in currently.

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 02:07 IST