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Trump Mocks 'Beautiful Man' PM Modi, Slams India Again On Harley-Davidson Taxes

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| February 27 , 2018 , 12:26 IST

US President Donald Trump once again raised the issue of the high import duty placed on American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson for sale in India, this time mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well.

Addressing a gathering of governors of all the states at the White House, Trump emphasised the US's interest in "fair" and "reciprocal" trade. Trump gave an example of the high import duty levied on Harley-Davidson motorcycles by India, when in comparison there was nil import duty on the sale of Indian bikes in the US. The US President mocked "beautiful man" PM Modi for reducing the import tax from 100 percent to 50 percent.

"When they (Harley-Davidson) send a motorcycle to India, as an example, they have to pay 100 percent tax -- 100 percent," Trump said.

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"Now, the prime minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day and said we are lowering it to 50 percent. I said okay, but so far we're getting nothing. So we get nothing. He gets 50 (percent), and they think they're doing -- like they're doing us a favour. That's not a favour," he said.

"I wasn't sure -- he said it so beautifully. He's a beautiful man. And he said, 'I just want to inform you that we have reduced it to 75, but we have further reduced it to 50'. And I said, huh. What do I say? Am I supposed to be thrilled? And that's not good for you people, especially as governors. It's just not right. And we have many deals like that," Trump said.

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"So when they have a motorbike -- a big number, by the way -- they have a company that does a lot of business. They have a motorcycle or a motorbike that comes into our country -- the number is zero. We get zero. They get 100 percent, brought down to 75; brought down, now, to 50. Okay," Trump said.

"It's a great company. When I spoke with your chairman or the president of Harley, they weren't even asking for it because they've been ripped off with trade so long that they were surprised that I brought it up. I'm the one that's pushing it more than they are, but it's unfair. And India sells us a lot of motorbikes," Trump said.

On February 13, advocating 'Free Trade' President Trump had raised the issue of the earlier 100 percent tax on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in India, comparing it to the nil tax applicable on Indian motorcycles sold in the US. Trump added that India had reduced the tax to 50 percent, but slammed the reduced applicable tax as 'unfair' and hinted that either both nations should have same taxes, or no taxes for true 'Free Trade'.