G20 Osaka Summit: Indian tariffs unacceptable, tweets Donald Trump ahead of bilateral meet with Narendra Modi

Taking to Twitter just hours before his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US president Donald Trump has offset any hopes that Indians might have of the United States reconsidering its position on adversarial trade policy and a clampdown approach towards the H1-B Visa.

The US president known for his whimsical outbursts on Twitter, just now took to the microblogging site to stress that India was wrong in mounting retaliatory tariffs on US imports after the latter dropped India from a list of 'preferred trade partners' and hiked tariffs on a bunch of Indian goods.

Terming the move 'unacceptable', Trump said that he will take up the issue with Modi.

The US had hiked tariffs on steel imports by 25 percent and aluminium imports by 10 percent last year, neglecting India's continuous requests for an exemption citing the long-standing trade ties with the country. Apart from a waiver from steel and aluminium duty hikes, India had also demanded suspension of the review of its eligibility for the generalised system of preferences through which the country exports goods worth $5.6 billion to the US. Neither of these demands were met by the US, which in turn were pressing for greater market access in dairy, medical devices and removing some trade restriction measures.

As a retaliatory measure, India decided to increase tariffs on 29 high-value US agricultural and industrial imports by up to 50 percent, ensuring that the earnings through the new tax will equal the losses faced by Indian industry after the US tariffs on steel and aluminium. India continued deferring the tariffs, hoping to strike a joint trade package offering an optimum level of duty reduction in certain categories.

The US president has earlier too hit out against India’s tariffs, calling India a "tariff king".

Trump said the United States, under his leadership, is a country that can no longer be fooled. “We're not the foolish country that does so badly. You look at India, very good friend of mine, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, you take a look at what they've done, 100 percent tax on a motorcycle. We charge them nothing,” Trump told CBS news in an interview.

The US President has repeatedly claimed that India is a "tariff king" and imposes "tremendously high" tariffs on American products.

"But if I didn't, if we didn't have the power of what we have, and if we weren't the bank — well, if we weren't the bank we wouldn't even be talking about it because nobody would care. But we're the bank that everybody wants to rob, and that's what they've been doing for a long period of time. USD 800 billion we have in trade deficits with other countries. So you tell me who made those," he said.

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Updated Date: Jun 27, 2019 11:34:52 IST