The president sarcastically calls the Indian prime minister ‘fantastic’
President Donald Trump has once again imitated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this time during a meeting with state governors.
Trump, while talking about the heavy import duty slapped by India on Harley-Davidson motorbikes, said he received a call for Prime Minister Modi, who he termed a “fantastic” man, conveying that the duty has been slashed to 50%.
But Trump told governors at the 2018 White House Business Session that cutting the import duty to 50% is not going to benefit the United States.
Earlier this year, Trump had mimicked Modi’s Indian accent.
Even though Trump said the cutting of import duty by India to 50% will not be beneficial to the US, the highly priced bikes from Harley Davidson and Triumph will become much cheaper in the country.
The president started speaking about his problem with India on leveling heavy import duty saying “Now, the Prime Minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day. He said, “We are lowering it to 50 percent.” I said, “Okay, but so far we’re getting nothing.” So we get nothing, he gets 50 [percent], and they think we’re doing — like they’re doing us a favor. That’s not a favor. And you know what I’m talking about. 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.
“So when they have a motorbike — a big number, by the way — they have a company that does a lot of business. So they have a motorcycle or a motorbike that comes into our country — the number is zero. We get zero. They get 100 percent, brought down to 75; brought down, now, to 50. Okay,” Trump said with a sense of disbelief.
Trump, without mimicking the Indian accent of Modi, imitated his posture by folding his hands and being a little serious, and said: “And I wasn’t sure — he said it so beautifully. He’s (Modi) 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.”
This is not the first time that Trump has brought to the table the issue of India levying heavy import duty on superbikes. Earlier, he had said that what India is doing is totally “unfair” and he even threatened to increase the import tax of Indian bikes, which forced India to reconsider the 100% import duty, which was at first lowered to 75% and later to 50%.