Trump Takes Aim At India's High Taxes, Highlights Harley-Davidson's Struggles

Former US President Donald Trump has vowed to impose reciprocal taxes on India if he secures victory in the 2024 presidential elections. He has raised concerns about India’s high taxes on certain US-made products, particularly the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

What Happened: In a recent interview on Fox Business News, Trump criticised India’s tariff rates, highlighting the significant tariffs imposed on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. He said India imposed tariffs of 100%, 150% and even 200% on certain imports, which created substantial barriers to U.S. exports.

During his previous tenure, Trump referred to India as the “tariff king” and in 2019, withdrew India’s preferential trade status under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), citing a lack of equitable market access.

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Unfair Taxes? Trump railed against the high tax rates in India and discussed the issues faced by U.S. manufacturers like Harvey-davidson in selling products in India.

“So, I said, so they can sell their Indian motorbike. They actually make a bike, an Indian motorbike. They can sell that into our country with no tax, no tariff, but when you make a Harley, when you send it over there – because they were doing no business. I said, how come you don’t do business with India? The tariff is so high that nobody wants it. But what they want us to do is, they want us to go over and build a plant, and then you have no tariff,” Trump said.

“If India is charging us too, so what I want to have is a — call it retribution. You could call it whatever you want. If they are charging us, we charge them,” Trump said in the interview.

Harley-Davidson recently launched a premium motorcycle in India via a partnership with Hero MotoCorp, and its CEO has said the company aims to make more motorcycles in India for export.

Trump is making his bid for the 2024 U.S. presidential race even as he faces criminal charges, including those related to mishandling of classified information during his tenure as president.

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