Donald Trump accuses India of imposing tariffs on American products

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WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused India of imposing tariffs on American products, which is no longer acceptable.

 

Trump's comment came days after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28.

During the meeting, the two leaders aired their concerns over the bilateral trade disputes and agreed for a meeting of their commerce ministers to sort out the issues.

"India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!" Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

President Trump, championing his 'America First' policy has been a vocal critic of India for levying ‘tremendously high’ duties on US products, has described the country as a ‘tariff king’.

Though trade is an important part of the booming bilateral relationship, a row over market access and tariffs has escalated in recent months, leading to fears of a protracted dispute.

Earlier, India has raised tariffs on 28 items, including almond, pulses and walnut, exported from the US in retaliation to America's withdrawal of preferential access for Indian products.

Last February, India slashed the customs duty on imported motorcycles like Harley-Davidson to 50 per cent.

President Trump terminated India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme from June 5.

The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) 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 Trump administration wants India to lower the trade barriers and embrace ‘fair and reciprocal’ trade.

On June 21 last year, the government decided to impose these duties in retaliation to the US decision of significantly hiking customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products.

On March last year, America imposed 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent import duty on 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 inputs from PTI

 

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