Trump Rages Against Harley Davidson Via Twitter, Casting Blame

Marcus Newton
June 27, 2018

Earlier in the day, multiple media outlets reported that Harley-Davidson was increasing the production of its motorcycles at overseas factories as a response to European Union tariffs.

"A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!"

Harley said the plant consolidation will save it $65 to $75 million a year beginning in 2020. He later added, "The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!". "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into USA without paying a big tax!". "I think the people that ride Harleys are not happy with Harley-Davidson, and I wouldn't be either", he said at the White House. Yet now Trump expects American companies to sit still as he drives up their cost of doing business with trade tariffs. The company did not comment on how many jobs would be shifted away from the US, but said that it would take between nine and 18 months to move production away from Wisconsin.

In February, Harley-Davidson announced the recall of 251,000 motorcycles due to possible brake failures, a move estimated to have cost the company $25 million.

If Trump does impose tariffs on European cars - which he threatened to do if Brussels doesn't remove certain tariffs and trade barriers - the EU would likely debate further countermeasures.

Harley executives later traveled to Washington for a meeting with Trump, who said they told him of the difficulty they faced selling motorcycles overseas.

"Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag", the president tweeted on Monday. One of Trump's trade plans included leveraging tariffs against the European Union for steel and aluminum products.

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Mike Gearhardt, who was a roundtable participant during Trump's Dayton campaign visit, said he could not have anticipated that Trump's "generalities and platitudes" that afternoon would translate into as much as $700,000 in lost profits this year for his employee-owned JBK Manufacturing. According to Harley Davidson, Europe accounts for around 16 percent of all motorcycle sales. "Trump ultimately wants a level playing field", Moore stuttered, never addressing the financial hit the company - and their shareholders who have already seen their stock plummet over the last week - would take by bowing to Trump. There, it competes with European and Japanese-made motorcycles which are not subject to the new tariff.

While Trump denies accountability, blaming Harley Davidson for their decision to move production, Reuters tells a different story, expressing a potential loss for the company of approximately $100 million dollars.

On Monday, the vice president of the EU's governing body said that Europe and China will form a group aimed at updating global trade rules to address technology policy, government subsidies and other emerging complaints in a bid to preserve support for worldwide commerce.

Our goal should always be to make America the sort of place where companies choose to do business.

The only way left for Harley-Davidson to avoid the tariff burden was to shift some of its production to Europe.

Wisconsin's elected leaders said the decision pointed to the need to expand markets.

In the filing, the motorcycle maker stressed that increasing worldwide production to alleviate the burden of tariffs was not the company preference. The EU has responded in kind, levying a tariff on several American products.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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