You may have to thank Donald Trump, the US President for putting an effort to make imported motorcycles like Triumph and Harley Davidson cheaper in India.
The Central Bureau of Excise and Customs in a notification on February 12, slashed the duties on completely build units (CBU) to 50%.
“We have so many countries where we made a product, they make a product… We pay tremendous tax to get into their countries- motorcycles, Harley Davidson– it goes into a certain country. Wont mention the fact that it happens to be India, in this case,” said the US president.
The entry level Harley Davidson Street 750 costs Rs 4.98 lakh onwards, and the import-duty revision is expected to bring down costs subsequently.
Trump, called these customs duty drop on high-end motorcycles as “poor” and also threatened to impose a reciprocal tax on US trade partners, including allies, for instance countries like China and India.
Trump was of the opinion that since US did not impose any tax on motorcycle imports, India should also follow similar practice.
In a discussion with the Congress over the prospects of the steel industry, Trump said that tariff reduction from 75% to 50% was inadequate, and asked why shouldn’t the US impose duties on Indian motorcycles that are imported into the US.
Explaining the concept of reciprocal tax as a system of fair trade, he said, “either we’ll collect the same that they’re (exporting countries) collecting, or, probably, what happens is they’ll end up not charging a tax and we won’t have a tax. And that becomes free trade.”
Trump in the meeting also highlighted a discussion from Narendra Modi, who had called him saying, “we have just reduce the tariff on motorcycles….down to 50 percent, from 75, and even 100 percent”
This has been a second instance in nearly a fortnight that the US president spoke of reciprocal taxes.
“I’m not blaming India. I think it’s great that they can get away with it. I don’t know why people allowed them to get away with it. But there’s an example that’s very unfair. I think we should have a reciprocal tax,” he added.