Donald Trump after the Singapore Summit in Singapore. Photo: AFP/Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information/EyePress

India and US plan to hold their maiden 2+2 dialogue next week, but US President Donald Trump has fired an early shot at New Delhi over the country’s high import tariffs.

He accused India of charging tariffs as high as 100% on imported American products and called for them to be removed.

Trump said this while defending his recent decision to impose tariffs on the import of foreign products. He argued this was done in retaliation to the imbalance of trade that the US has with major trading partners including China, the European Union and India, Press Trust of India reports.

As part of the 2+2 dialogue, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold talks with their US counterparts Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis.

Trade with Iran to be hit

Meanwhile, in order to intensify its sanctions against Iran, the US has ruled out any exemption to India and Indian companies from carrying out any transactions with Iran. It warned that Indian companies would be subjected to sanctions if they continue to do business with Iran.

In order to choke Iran’s lucrative oil trade, it has asked all countries to stop all oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation by November 4. India imports close to US$9 billion worth of oil from Iran and the sanctions are expected to have a disruptive impact.

A State Department spokesman has said that they will be asking both India and China to cut their imports of oil from Iran to zero from November 4. If they do not comply both countries would face sanctions, the spokesman reportedly said.

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