US President Donald Trump Monday slammed India for the allegedly high tariffs on American products and said that New Delhi wants to have a trade deal with America primarily to keep him happy.
Trump's charges against the alleged high Indian tariffs, for the second time in a few days, came during his White House news conference where he announced a new trade deal with neighbouring Mexico and Canada.
As he announced the key elements of the US-Mexico and Canada Agreement or USMCA, Trump listed out at the trade deals that are under negotiations, including with Japan, European Union, China and India.
Trump described India as a "tariff king" as he reiterated his allegations that New Delhi has a high tariff rate on various American products. After he warned against imposing similar tariffs on the import of Indian products, Trump said Indians called him that they want to have a trade deal with the US.
The negotiations are being carried out by the US Trade Representatives, Robert Lighthizer. When US officials asked Indians why they want to have a trade deal with America, Indian officials told them that they want to keep the US president happy, Trump told reporters.
On Saturday, Trump had said that India wants to have a trade deal with the US because it does not want him to impose tariffs on their products. Trump's remarks came days after Assistant US Trade Representative Mark Linscott returned from India where he had detailed discussion with senior Indian officials on bilateral trade and a possible trade deal between the two countries.
On a related note, he added, the Trump Administration said it wants a trade deal with India, but it is too early to talk about it, a senior White House official said Monday.
"We want to (have a trade) deal (with India). (But) It's way too early for me. I do not want to get in front of that process," White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters here when asked what kind of trade deal US wants to have with India.
The discussions with India on a trade deal is at an "early" stage, the top White House official said.