(Image source from: Daily Mail)
United States president Donald Trump yet again accused India of charging 100 percent duty on some imports, speaking after leaving the G7 summit which was held on June 8-9 2018 in Canada.
"I mean, we have India, where some of the tariffs are 100 percent. A hundred percent. And we charge nothing. We can't do that," said Trump at a news conference on Saturday, citing high taxes around the world on American goods as he re-litigated his differences with G7 countries.
"And so we are talking to many countries," he said. Talks with India, at least, have not gone well so far.
New and controversial 25 percent and 10 percent tariff on steel and aluminum imports, failing to get an exemption from the Trump administration, India went to World Trade Organization (WTO) late May and sought "consultation" with the United States, an essential initial step in any dispute settlement process at the global body.
India has as well sought retaliation claim to retrieve $31 million as the hit taken it due to U.S. levy on aluminum exports and $134 million on steel. It could as well target U.S. exports in its retaliation such as soya oil, palm olein and cashew nuts.
The United States accounts for 2 percent of Indian steel exports.
According to sources, India also plans to regenerate duty cuts it had proclaimed earlier this year on the importation of high-end motorcycles. The duty was brought down to a common and unified rate of 50 percent from 75 percent for vehicles above 800cc and 60 percent on those below. Harley-Davidson of America and Triumph of Britain were the leading beneficiaries of India's duty cuts.
Trump has several times warned India of "reciprocal taxes", arguing U.S. tariff on Indian motorcycles was zero, much as his remarks in Canada and he was further pushing the cuts.
Trump began by railing against Indian tariff on Harley-Davidson from his introductory few weeks in office and continuing even after India dropped the rates to 50 percent. "Now, the Prime Minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day," Trump said at a White House meeting with state governors in March, referring to a phone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He recounted, relaying the conversation, he said, 'We are lowering it (tariff on Harley-Davidson) to 50 percent'. I said, 'Okay, but so far we're getting nothing.' So we get nothing, he gets 50 (percent), and they think we're doing like they're doing us a favor. That's not a favor. And you know what I'm talking about."
In March, he declared 25 percent and 10 percent tariff on all steel and aluminum entering the United States. Some countries were acknowledged exemptions such as Canada and Mexico as they discussed a larger trade deal with the U.S. and some others were exempted from other grounds.
India wasn't. It went to WTO, seeking consultation. It has seen been united by the European Union, Russia and China targeting the United States in separate filings. Thailand became the newest associate of the group on June 5.
By Sowmya Sangam