US President Trump Threatens Apple, Derails Modi’s Plan

Foreign Affairs

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New Delhi: In what can be a major setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious plan to woo multinational companies away from China to Make in India, US President Donald Trump has threatened companies such as Apple with tax deterrent if they do so.

With many companies pondering over the idea to expand their manufacturing bases in more than one country, India has stepped up to lure them in offering land and promising a fruitful future.

President Trump said he could levy new taxes on American companies that move their manufacturing bases from China to any country other than the United States terming taxation as an incentive for companies to return the manufacturing to the United States, according to media reports.

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The US President has time and again asked American firms to shift their manufacturing to the United States to help create more jobs, a move that resonates with his agenda of ‘Make America Great Again’.

Asked on reports about Apple shifting a significant part of its manufacturing to India and away from China to reduce logistical disruptions, President Trump said, “If they do, you know, we gave Apple a little bit of a break because they’re competing with a company that was a part of a trade deal that we made. So it was a little bit unfair to Apple, but we’re not allowing this anymore. You know if we wanted to put up our own border like other countries do to us, Apple would build 100 per cent of their product in the United States. That’s the way it would work.”

Trump said instead of giving incentives to American companies to bring their manufacturing back to the country he would instead tax them for moving anywhere other than the United States.

The President said that the companies will have to shift back for the country. China has time and again been at the centre of Donald Trump’s speeches, where he has talked about Coronavirus originating in China. Trump also ridiculed the argument given by firms for setting up manufacturing bases in China, saying that the United States should have all the supply chains instead of them being spread across the world.

With many companies pondering over the idea to expand their manufacturing bases in more than one country, India has stepped up to lure them in offering land and promising a fruitful future. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent address talked about making India a strong part of the global supply chain.

In a bid to reach that goal, India is already making amendments and has even carved a piece of land, the size of Luxembourg, according to Bloomberg. Efforts have also been made by state governments, with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath taking the lead and offering various perks to companies that set-up shop in the state.

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