Washington: Ahead of next week's maiden 2+2 dialogue with India, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused New Delhi of charging as high as 100 per cent tariff on import of American products.
"We have countries where, as an example, India, they charge up as much as 100 per cent tariff. We want the tariffs removed," Trump said.
He was responding to a question in his recent decisions to impose tariffs on import of foreign products. Trump has defended it by arguing that this is in retaliation to the imbalance of trade that the US has with major trading partners including China, the European Union and India.
India and the US will hold their first 2+2 dialogue next week. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be in the US for talks with their American counterparts Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis.
"What I would like to do and what I offered at the G7, you remember, I said let's drop all tariffs and all barriers," he said. "Is everybody OK with that? And nobody said yes. I said wait a minute folks, you're complaining. No tariffs and no barriers, you're on your own, let's do it. And it was like they couldn't leave the room fast enough," he said recollecting his conversation with G-7 leaders in Canada recently.
"Other countries are negotiating (with US). Without tariffs, you could never do that. If they don't want to negotiate, then we'll do the tariffs," Trump told reporters at the White House.
"Just remember, we're the bank. We're the bank that everybody wants to steal from and plunder and can't be that way anymore. We lost USD 500 billion last year with China. We lost USD 151 billion with the European Union, which puts up great barriers so that our farmers can't trade," he said.
"We can't send farm products in for the most part. It's very hard to send cars in," he said.