A trade official at the White House has opined that the Indian government must lower the 100% tariff it imposes on Harley Davidson motorcycles as it could result in more foreign investments in the country, PTI reported. “If India agrees to lower its tariffs on Harley Davidson motorcycles, Indian consumers will buy more Harleys and save less while Harley will sell more Harleys and invest more,” Peter Navarro, Director of White House National Trade Council, said in a letter to the editor to The Wall Street Journal. India imposes a 100% import duty on Harleys, popular American chopper style motorcycles. US President Donald Trump had flagged the high tariff issue in his address to the joint session of the Congress, during which he said he will raise the matter with New Delhi.
“Truly fair and reciprocal trade between the US and its trading partners, rather than the perpetual turn of the screw we receive now, will lead to a thousand similar kinds of adjustments as our bilateral trade deficits fall and savings and investment patterns adjust,” Navarro added in the letter recently published.
He wrote the letter in response to the debate that his op-ed piece on March 6 in the daily had generated. He had argued that if the US uses leverage as the world’s largest market to “persuade” India to reduce its “notoriously high tariffs” America will surely sell more Harleys there.
Currently, there is a sizable fan following for Harley Davidson motorcycles in India, however the prices remain out of reach for most enthusiasts. The Street 750, which is locally manufactured in India, is the cheapest one from the brand, and hence sells in good numbers. If the import duty is to be lowered, Harley motorcycles that presently cost Rs 15 lakh and above would come within an affordable price bracket. While the company would benefit through better sales, the customers may then be able to consider motorcycles better and bigger than the Street 750.