WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump lashed out at India once again on Tuesday, saying that the country “has long had a field day” with tariffs and it was “no longer acceptable”. Mr Trump’s tweet was the latest in what many analysts have called a fledgling trade war that have seen the two major economies clash over import tariffs on each other’s products.
The comment comes just before India and US are set to resume their bilateral trade talks, with senior officials of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) visiting New Delhi next week. It also follows talks between Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan.
Last month Mr Trump had demanded India withdraw retaliatory tariffs imposed by New Delhi, calling the duties “unacceptable” in a stern message that signalled the alarming deterioration of trade ties between the two nations.
India had slapped higher duties on 28 US products in June after the United States withdrew tariff-free entry for certain Indian goods. Washington is also upset with New Delhi’s plans to restrict cross-border data flows and impose stricter rules on e-commerce that hurt US firms operating in India.
Trade between the countries was worth $142.1 billion in 2018, with India having a surplus of $24.2 billion. Despite close political and security ties, trade between the two countries is widely seen to be performing at nearly a quarter of its potential.
In the past, Donald Trump has slammed India for “high tariffs” on American products, and said India wants to start trade talks with the US “immediately”. India wanted the trade deal primarily “to keep him happy” he said, describing the country as a “tariff king” in October last year.