US President sets eyes on Indian duties on American whisky

Vastavam web: US President Donald Trump has set his eyes on the “high” 150 per cent Indian duties on American whisky after he struck what he called a “very fair” deal with India in about two minutes on the 100 per cent tariffs on the iconic motorcycle Harley-Davidson. India in February last year slashed the customs duty on imported high-end motorcycles like Harley-Davidson to 50 per cent after Trump called it “unfair” and threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian bikes to the US.

At a White House event on the Reciprocal Trade Act on Thursday, Trump flashed out a green colour board with examples of non-reciprocal tariffs from various countries. “Look at motorcycles as an example. (In) India, it was 100 per cent. I got them down to 50 per cent, just by talking for about two minutes. It’s still 50 per cent vs 2.4 per cent (on imported motorcycles to the US). Again, other than that, it’s a very fair deal,” the president said.

The Reciprocal Trade Act, which Trump was expected to highlight in his now-delayed State of the Union address, would give him authority to levy tariffs equal to those of a foreign country on a particular product if that country’s tariffs are determined to be significantly lower than those charged by the United States. It would also allow Trump to take into account non-tariff barriers when determining such tariffs. “They charge us tariffs and taxes, the likes of which nobody has any understanding. They are so high and so unfair! They also have barriers where we can’t go in. They have trade barriers that make it impossible for us to sell our farm products and our other products. Trump said the Reciprocal Trade Act would help to solve the problem once and for all. “Whatever the tariff for a foreign country is, we place the same tariff on us.”

“What’s going to happen, I think, from a practical standpoint, is they won’t be charging us tariffs anymore. We’ll see. Or we’ll charge them a lot. Tremendous amount of money,” he said. The Reciprocal Trade Act will be an incredible tool to bring foreign countries to the negotiating table and to get them to lower tariffs on US products and also to get rid of their trade barriers, the president asserted. America cannot lose almost USD 800 billion on trade like has been done for many years, he said.