Amid brewing trade tensions with India, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday expressed his growing dismay towards India's stance of increasing tariffs on American products.
In a tweet, Trump said that the ongoing sanctions by India are not acceptable anymore, and added that the tariffs imposed by India have been going on since long: Here's President Donald Trump's tweet:
Trump has repeatedly tried to arm-twist India even as he tries this way of diplomacy. Earlier during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan President Trump had asked India to cut down on the 'unacceptably high tariffs' imposed on the 28 American goods. India had imposed tariffs after the United States shut down the preferential access to India goods which affected imports from India. Even so, the Trump administration itself has been imposing tariffs on the European Union, China and even India for that matter. Ever since India answered back, Trump administration has been vocal about the stringent measures against the US taken by India when it comes to trade.
Later this week, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Energy Secretary Rick Perry are scheduled to address a major India centric conference in Washington DC. Trump has been too vocal about his 'America First' policy and described India as "tariff king". Before his meeting with Modi, Trump had tweeted,
"I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!"
India has raised tariffs on items like almond, pulses and walnut, exported from the US in retaliation to America's withdrawal of preferential access for Indian products. In addition, Trump has also cited India's high import tariffs on the iconic Harley Davidson motorcycles as "unacceptable".
The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) in which the Trump administration put a blockade on is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries. The US is expecting India to practice a "fair and reciprocal" trade.
Last year, India slashed the customs duty on imported motorcycles like Harley-Davidson to 50 per cent after Trump called it "unfair" and threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian bikes to the US. The government on June 21 last year decided to impose these duties in retaliation to the US decision of significantly hiking customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.
India has also dragged the US to the World Trade Organisation's dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium. India's exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at USD 47.9 billion, while imports were at USD 26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.
(With PTI Inputs)