President Trump arrives in Osaka for the G20 Summit (source:twitter)

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Trump has hit out at the Modi government, saying that India’s tariffs on US products is “unacceptable” and they must be withdrawn.

In a tweet this morning, Trump said he was looking forward to discussing the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders have a bilateral summit slated for tomorrow on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan’s Osaka.

“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 This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!” President Trump had tweeted.

The ties between the two nations have become much sourer since Mr Trump announced withdrawal of decades-old preferential trade status for India, which allowed it to sell goods worth $5.6 billion duty-free.

The Modi government responded in kind with retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products earlier this month. The decision to impose tariffs on US products came into force earlier this month after being stalled for several months.

The US move was in line with President Donald Trump’s policy of reducing trade deficits — equalising the import and export between the US and another nation.

Mr Trump’s policy comes from his concern he had highlighted during his presidential campaign that US is purchasing more from other nations than it sells, which has stunted manufacturing in the country.

Over the last months, Washington imposed tariffs and withdrew concessions on millions of dollars’ worth of goods from across the world, including China and India. But the growing trade war, where other nations imposing retaliatory tariffs on the US, is limiting Washington of its foreign markets.

After a long talk with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended his government’s decision, stressing that the US needs greater access to the Indian market.

Apart from the G20 summit deliberations, Mr Modi and Mr Trump are expected to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Osaka summit on Friday, when the US President is likely to raise the issue.


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