Trump says PM Modi is a ‘beautiful man’, but the US is ‘getting nothing’ on Harley Davidson import duty

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Washington : President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hug while making statements in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017. AP/PTI(AP6_27_2017_000042B)

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump has once more raised the issue of high import duty on Harley Davidson motorcycles by India, stating that the US was “getting nothing” with India’s recent announcement that it had reduced customs duty on imported motorcycles from high-end brands to 50 percent. Trump added that the US wanted fair and give-and-take trade deals.

“When they (Harley Davidson) send a motorcycle to India, as an example, they have to pay 100 per cent tax, 100 per cent,” the US President said in his comments to a gathering of governors of all the states at the White House. Citing to his recent conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump said the “fantastic man” informed him that India has reduced tariffs on imported motorcycles, but the US was “getting nothing”.” Now, the prime minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day and said we are lowering it to 50 per cent. I said okay, but so far we’re getting nothing. So we get nothing. He gets 50 (per cent), and they think we’re doing like they’re doing us a favour. That’s not a favour,” Trump said.

“I wasn’t sure, he said it so beautifully. He’s a beautiful man. And he said, ‘I just want to inform you that we have reduced it to 75, but we have further reduced it to 50’. And I said, huh. What do I say? Am I supposed to be thrilled? And that’s not good for you people, especially as governors. It’s just not right. And we have many deals like that,” the US President added. The 71-year-old president said that the US gets “zero” when it buys an Indian motorcycle. “So when they have a motorbike, a big number, by the way — they have a company that does a lot of business. They have a motorcycle or a motorbike that comes into our country — the number is zero. We get zero. They get 100 per cent, brought down to 75; brought down, now, to 50. Okay,” he said.

He added that “It’s a great company. When I spoke with your chairman or the president of Harley, they weren’t even asking for it because they’ve been ripped off with a trade so long that they were surprised that I brought it up. I’m the one that’s pushing it more than they are, but it’s unfair. And India sells us a lot of motorbikes”. It is for the second time in a month when Trump raised the subject of high import duty on motorcycles by India. Previously, he had labeled it “unfair” and threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian motorcycles to the US.

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