Harley-Davidson issue: After India reduces import duty by half, Trump says US gets 'nothing'

File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 27, 2018, 03.48 AM (IST)

US President Donald Trump has again raked up the Harley-Davidson issue with India, for the second time in a month. 

Trump had earlier said the 100% duty companies have to pay to import high-end motorcycles into India was "unfair". Trump had also threatened to increase the tariff on Indian motorcycles exported to the US

India has since then reduced the import duty to 50 per cent. 

"When they (Harley Davidson) send a motorcycle to India, as an example, they have to pay 100 per cent tax -- 100 per cent," PTI reported Trump as saying to a gathering of governors of all US states at the White House.

In the same conversation, Trump referred to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "beautiful man". 

"Now, the prime minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day and said we are lowering it to 50 per cent. I said okay, but so far we're getting nothing. So we get nothing. He gets 50 (per cent), and they think we'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.

Trump added that the US, on the other hand, gets "zero" when it buys an Indian motorcycle.

"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 per cent, 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 added. 

(With inputs from PTI)