- PM Modi, Donald Trump to meet in Japan on sidelines of G20 summit
- India had announced retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products
- "This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn," Mr Trump said
US President Donald Trump today said India's imposition of retaliatory tariffs was "unacceptable" and must be withdrawn. In a tweet this morning, he said he was looking forward to discussing the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders have a bilateral summit scheduled tomorrow on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan's Osaka.
"I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!" President Trump's tweet read.
Quoting sources, news agency Reuters reported that India has said its tariffs are not high compared to other developing countries.
New Delhi had slapped tariff on 28 US products earlier this month after Washington withdrew the long-standing trade concessions for India on June 1. President Trump said the preferential status had allowed India to sell goods worth $5.6 billion duty-free.
The US move was in line with President Donald Trump's policy of reducing trade deficits - that is, equalising the import and export between the US and another nation. In his election campaign, Mr Trump had drawn attention to the fact that US is purchasing more from other nations than it sells, which has stunted manufacturing in the country.
Over the last months, Washington imposed tariff and withdrew concessions on millions of dollars' worth of goods from across the world, including China and India. But the rapidly accelerating trade war, where other nations imposing retaliatory tariffs on the US, is robbing Washington of the foreign markets it needs to sell its goods.
Yesterday, after his daylong talks with Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while defending his government's decision, emphasised that the US needs greater access to the Indian market.
A state department fact sheet yesterday said, "There is enormous potential to grow our trade relationship and create the high-quality jobs that Prime Minister Modi wants if India lowers trade barriers and embraces fair and reciprocal trade". It also emphasised that the Trump Administration was working to ensure that "American companies operating in India have the same level playing field that Indian companies enjoy in the United States."
After yesterday's meeting, Mr Jaishankar said he has "pushed for a constructive and pragmatic view", and the "real test of our intentions will be our ability to deal with this".
PM Modi's meeting with President Trump is expected to take the discussion forward.
(With inputs from PTI and Reuters)