The Presidents comments come after he phoned India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and told him that the 100% import tariff was unacceptable, as the US doesn’t charge anything on bikes imported from India.
After threats to increase tariffs on bikes imported from India to the US, the Indian PM reduced the US import tariff by 50%.
But yesterday Trump told CBS news:
"We're not the foolish country that does so badly. You look at India, (a) very good friend of mine, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, you take a look at what they've done, 100 percent tax on a motorcycle. We charge them nothing"
Trumps most recent comments come at a time when Harley Davidson is trying to take a bigger slice of the lucrative Indian motorcycle market. And with such high barriers to entry and cheaper domestically produced motorcycles e.g. Hero’s and Pulsars, currently, Harley doesn’t have the competitive edge.
Donald also added that the US (under his leadership) will no longer be fooled by India - the country in the past he's referred to as the “tarrif king”.
"...we're the bank that everybody wants to rob, and that's what they've (India) been doing for a long period of time”
Pretty firm words from the Commander & Chief indeed, all under the umbrella of ‘free trade’.
But, will a 0% import tariff help Harley Davidson make a mark in India? Or will Royal Enfield and Pulsar rule?