On Monday, Donald Trump called India 'tariff king' amid the existing trade tensions between the two countries, and claimed New Delhi wanted to start trade talks with Washington, as they wanted to keep him happy.
Trump slammed the 100% tariff which he claimed India has levied on various products, though that has been brought down.
He added no one asked India to lower tariffs.
Trump made these statements while announcing a new tripartite trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
When asked why he called India 'tariff king', the United States President said, "India is a very, very high tariff (country), They really charge tremendously high tariffs. On motorcycles it is 100%...it's so high, it's like a barrier."
He noted rates have been slashed, but they are still high.
In February, in an official call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump raised the issue of tariffs on high-end motorcycles, Harley Davidson. Later, he told reporters the tariff has been brought down to 50%.
On Monday, Trump said he had good relations with Modi and "he is going to reduce them (tariff) very substantially."
It's still unclear if he was referring to February conversation.
Unless Trump and Modi have spoken just now, this is probably a reference to their conversation in February, the last time the two leaders spoke to each other, according to officials. https://t.co/ArT6zKog4B— Suhasini Haidar (@suhasinih) October 1, 2018
Trade tensions between the two countries were escalated after Trump slapped a uniform tariff of 25% and 10% on all steel and aluminium imports.
After it was impacted, India went to the World Trade Organization.
India expressed a desire to talk about trade, something which Trump has been advocating for months now. He called this decision of India being open to talks 'shocking'.
Trump wants India to do away with tariffs on products, especially on medical devices and poultry.
Notably, Trump's claim that no one before him spoke to India about reducing tariffs is untrue, as previous administrations have raised this.
With him threatening new tariffs, there is an urgency for talks. The US is already stuck in a major trade battle with China.
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