Trump Says ‘Tariff King’ India Wants Trade Deal To Keep Him Happy
President Donald Trump slammed India for imposing "tremendously high tariffs" on American products and said that New Delhi wanted to have a trade deal with the U.S. 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 Mexico and Canada.
As he announced the key elements of the U.S.-Mexico and Canada Agreement or USMCA, Trump listed out 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.
"When we send Harley Davidson motorcycle, and other things to India, they charge us very very high tariffs. I have spoken to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and he is going to reduce them substantially," he said.
Trump said the relationship with both India and the country's Prime Minister Modi "is great". He, however, rued that no one from the previous regimes had ever spoken with the Indians.
Nobody ever spoke to these people (Indians). He (Modi) said, no body ever spoke to me. We have had presidents of the United States and Trade Representatives, they never spoke to India.Donald Trump, U.S. President
Brazil is another one, Trump added. "They charge us whatever they want."
The U.S. President said the 100 percent tariffs on motorcycles was like a barrier. He also warned against imposing similar tariffs on import of Indian products.
Trump said India wanted to have a trade deal with the US and the negotiations are being carried out by the U.S. Trade Representatives Robert Lighthizer.
“India, which is the tariff king, they called us and they said, ‘we want to start negotiations immediately’,” Trump said.
Thereafter, he referred to a conversation that Lighthizer had with the Indian officials.
"When Bob Lighthizer said, 'What happened? They said, 'No, we want to keep your president happy.' Isn't that nice? It's true. They have to keep us happy, because they understand that we're wise to what's been happening," Trump claimed.
Trump, on Saturday, had said that India wants to have a trade deal with the U.S. because it does not want him to impose tariffs on their products.
Trump's remarks came days after Assistant U.S. 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.