Ahead of meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, US President Donald Trump has hit out at the Modi government and said that India’s tariffs on US products are “unacceptable” and they must be withdrawn.
Significant tension has grown between India and the US after Trump announced the end of preferential trade with India and the Modi government hit back with retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products earlier this month.
The Modi government’s decision to impose tariffs on US products came into force earlier this month after being stalled for several months. The action was prompted by the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw preferential access given to Indian products.
As Trump reached Japan for the G20 Summit, where he will be meeting PM Modi, the US President tweeted: “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 This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!”
US had significantly hiked custom duty on steel and aluminum products.
Trump’s remarks could further worsen a trade row that has led to tit-for-tat tariffs from India and the United States and created an unease over the depth of their security alliance.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in New Delhi sought to reduce heightened trade tension with India, promising a renewed focus on negotiating better ties, but giving few specifics of how they would overcome disputes over trade and investment.
Mike Pompeo also spoke on similar lines as Trump and told External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar that the country needs better trade access.
This comes ahead of Modi’s meeting with Donald Trump at the G20 Summit. Apart from the summit deliberations, the two leaders are expected to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Osaka summit on 28th June.
President Trump is likely to bring up the contentious issue of tariffs imposed on US products.
The Correspondent Bureau with inputs from agencies