| 9 December 2023, Saturday |

Trump repeats threat of reciprocal taxes against India if elected again

Donald Trump, the former President of the United States who is seeking re-election in the 2024 US Presidential Election, has once more addressed the matter of India’s imposition of high taxes on specific American goods. Among these goods is the renowned Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Trump has expressed his intention to levy a corresponding tax on Indian goods should he secure re-election.
During his time in the presidential office, Trump had regarded India as a nation that’s “tariff king”. In the year 2019, he terminated India’s preferential access to US markets. He alleged that India did not give the US “equitable and reasonable access to its markets.”
In an interview with Larry Kudlow of Fox Business News, Trump came down heavily on India’s tax rates, which he alleged were quite high.

“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,” said the former president. He was quoted by the Press Trust of India.

“So, I said, so they can sell their Indian motorbike. They actually 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,” Trump said.

“They said, well, that’s not good. That’s not our deal, OK? That’s not our deal. And I came down very hard on them. But India is very big. Brazil is very big on tariffs, I mean, very, very big. We had a couple of people, like the senator from a place called Pennsylvania that I love. But this guy was just horrendous. I said, let me ask you a question. If India is charging us 200 per cent, and we’re charging them nothing for products, can we charge them 100 per cent? No, sir, that’s not free trade. Can we charge them 50 per cent? No, sir. Twenty-five, 10, anything? No. I said, what the hell is wrong? There’s something wrong. You know what I’m talking about,” he said.

“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,” Trump said in response to a question.

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