Trump Hits Out at India, Brazil Trade After Clinching North American Commerce Pact

Vastavam web: Fresh from clinching an updated North American commerce pact, U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday criticized Indian and Brazilian trade tactics, describing the latter as being “maybe the toughest in the world” in terms of protectionism. “India charges us tremendous tariffs. When we send Harley Davidson motorcycles, other things to India, they charge very, very high tariffs,” Trump said, adding that he had brought up the issue with Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi, who he said was “going to reduce them very substantially.”

Modi’s office could not immediately be reached for a request for comment. India’s government has become more protectionist in recent months, raising import tariffs on a growing number of goods as it promotes its ‘Make in India’ programme. “Brazil’s another one. That’s a beauty. They charge us whatever they want,” he said. “If you ask some of the companies, they say Brazil is among the toughest in the world – maybe the toughest in the world.” After Trump’s comments, Brazil’s Foreign Trade Minister, Abrão Neto, defended the relationship, saying it was “very positive.” He added that over the last 10 years, the United States has enjoyed a trade surplus with Brazil of $90 billion in goods, and of $250 billion in goods and services.

Neto pointed out that the United States was Brazil’s second-largest trading partner, behind China, and that the two countries had a “complementary and strategic” commercial relationship that could, nonetheless, be improved. Trump’s “America First” trade policies, particularly his escalating trade war with China, are aimed at boosting U.S. manufacturing, but they have spooked investors who worry that supply lines could be fractured and global growth derailed.