Trump complains, but U.S. bike sales grow in India

Updated - March 01, 2017 07:14 pm IST

Published - March 01, 2017 01:34 pm IST

President Donald Trump smiles at the end of his address.

President Donald Trump smiles at the end of his address.

United States President Donald Trump told Congress that stiff 100 per cent import duties on American company Harley-Davidson’s expensive motorcycles were hurting the manufacturer.

But in India, one of the countries where the luxury bikes are taxed at that rate, sales have grown by a brisk 30 per cent in the past two years.

Harley-Davidson India said on Wednesday that their dealerships have expanded to 27 in 17 cities across the country.

“We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers,” Mr. Trump said in his speech. “Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes — but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them almost nothing.”

He noted that he recently met with Harley Davidson, who brought five motorcycles to the White House. “And they wanted me to ride one and I said ‘no thank you,” said Mr. Trump, an ad lib that didn’t appear in his prepared remarks, which were released by the White House shortly after he began speaking.

The motorcycle company isn’t the only one attracting high import duties. All luxury motorcycles and cars are taxed between 100-125 per cent in India. Duties for used luxury cars are even higher to protect local car and bike manufacturers.

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