United States president Donald Trump has again warned India that the US does not like the tariff regime in the country even as trade talks between representatives of the two countries is set to start in New Delhi.
“India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!” Trump tweeted on the issue.
A year after the announced retaliation to US imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium and a about a month after the Trump administration withdrew duty-free benefits to Indian exporters, India retaliated with tariffs on 28 products imported from the US which includes products like almonds and apples starting 5 June. The move has been taken to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by the US. Additionally, excise duties for a host of products, including alloy steel and auto parts, have been increased in the union budget of the Indian government on July 5.
The slowly developing trade spat between the two countries would be attempted to be resolved in a meeting between Assistant US trade representative (USTR) Chris Wilson and USTR deputy assistant Brendan Lynch and their Indian counterparts.
The latest tweet on Indian tariffs by Trump could be a tactic by him to impose pressure on India before the scheduled talks on trade said Jayant Dasgupta, India’s former ambassador to WTO, while referring to the latest Trump tweet on Indian tariffs. “Trump also tweeted on similar lines ahead of his talks with Modi last month. It is now following a pattern,” he added.
“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 This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!” Trump had tweeted just before his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Osaka late June.
Trade was among the issues that were discussed between Trump and Modi, the spokesman of the Indian external affairs ministry had confirmed on 5 July. “I think it is important to understand that in any relationship, which is multidimensional like India and the US, there are bound to be certain differences, there are bound to be perspectives where we share a different approach. How we handle it is the key and flowing out of that meeting what we agreed was on all these issues w e will continue to talk,” the spokesman had said.
Indian should not compromise its larger interest because of the US complaints while taking them in an objective manner, said Dasgupta. “We should try to find solutions where possible. Similarly, the US should also accommodate our market access issues with a helpful attitude,” he said.
India has often been referred to as a “tariff king” by Trump and has pointed out on multiple occasions had pointed out that India imposes 50 per cent import tariffs on Harley-Davidson bikes.
(Adapted from LiveMint.com)