Donald Trump says India must remove import tariffs on US goods: US President Donald Trump on Thursday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and told him that India must remove import tariffs on US goods ahead of their meeting in Japan’s Osaka on the sidelines of the G20 meeting. Trump said he is looking forward to speaking with Modi about the immediate withdrawal of the tariffs which has been imposed against the United States. This is unacceptable because India has just recently increased the tariffs even further, the president added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold about 10 meetings, including with US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Japan this week.

Trump’s statement came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday night on a three-day visit amid the ongoing trade tensions between India and America. Pompeo called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to exchange views on bilateral trade and other regional issues of mutual interest.

In 2018, India had placed higher tariffs on $220 million in US goods in retaliation for aluminum and steel levies earlier this year and the US decision to remove a waiver on Indian imports. In June 2019, the country imposed higher tariffs on 28 US products, including almonds, apples, and walnuts, following the US withdrawal of certain trade privileges for India, reports said.

On May 31, the US on announced its decision to end preferential tariffs to $5.6 billion of Indian exports from June 5 after determining that it has not assured the US that it will provide “equitable and reasonable access to its markets.”

Earlier, referring to the import tariff on the Harley Davidson motorcycles, Trump had said that even though India reduced its import tariff on American motorcycles from 100% to 50%, it was still too high and not acceptable. He said, the US, under his leadership, is a country that can no longer be fooled.

The US has already announced tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese imports. After China, the US has also put India’s GSP status on review to see if exports from India need any preferential access to its market. The US decision is likely to impact nearly 3,500 Indian goods including mechanical and electrical machinery, organic and inorganic chemicals, plastics and vegetables that get duty free access to the world’s biggest market. India is the largest beneficiary of GSP among developing countries.

Chinese electronics giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd was added to the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List on May 15, following an executive order from President Donald Trump effectively banning Chinese farm from US communications networks. On June 26, a US jury rejected the claims of Huawei that California-based semiconductor designer CNEX Labs Inc stole trade secrets from it. Huawei had sued CNEX in US District Court in Sherman, Texas, for misappropriation of trade secrets involving a memory control technology and for poaching its employees.

Apart from China, Iran and Russia are also grappling with trade sanctions imposed by the US.

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