Trump Threatens Harley-Davidson Over Plan To Shift Some Production Overseas

The European Union recently hit the United States with retaliatory tariffs on goods worth approximately $3.2 (€2.8) billion. Among the items subject to a new 25 percent tariff are orange juice, whisky and motorcycles.

According to CNBC, Harley-Davidson revealed it was planning to get around the tariffs by shifting some production overseas. This would effectively allow the company to import motorcycles into Europe without having to face an overall tariff of 31 percent.

The company noted this would have raised the cost of motorcycles built in the United States and imported into Europe by approximately $2,200 (€1,888) each.

Despite being a sound business move, President Trump attacked the company in a series of tweets which accused Harley-Davidson of “using tariffs/trade war as an excuse” to move production overseas. Trump went on to say “When I had Harley-Davidson officials over to the White House, I chided them about tariffs in other countries, like India, being too high. Companies are now coming back to America. Harley must know that they won’t be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax!”

The latter tweet seems to suggest the president doesn’t understand the situation as Harley-Davidson was only planning to shift some production overseas to get around the new European tariffs. This isn’t the first time it has happened as he previously claimed Jeep was moving all production to China. This earned him a rebuke from FCA styling guru Ralph Gilles who said “you are full of shit!”

Trump continued his tweetstorm by saying “A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country – never!” The president then claimed employees and customers are already angry at the company and moving production overseas would be the beginning of the end for Harley-Davidson. Trump then threatened the company “will be taxed like never before” if they follow through with the move.

The tweetstorm comes one day after the president said he was “Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the white flag.” He went on to say he “fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U.”

While it will take some time to shift production overseas, the BBC reports Harley-Davidson won’t pass the increased costs onto consumers as it doesn’t want to jeopardize sales. The company sold 39,773 motorcycles in Europe last year and if they didn’t shift production, they would lose $45 (€38.6) million this year due to the increased tariffs.

While a number of people have expressed anger at both parties, it’s worth mentioning the increased tariffs are a direct result of Trump’s decision to hit the European Union with new steel and aluminum tariffs.

  • Belthronding

    His actions,decisions are correct or not, i have no word.
    But acting, speeching ,threatening and pointing people/companies like a president of banana republic is not the way having people’s support.
    Even if he is right regarding Harley thing, nobody would pay any attention to his point only because of his language.So who is going to be loser after all?

  • Stephen G

    Big talk from a guy that built his hotels using Chinese steel.

    • cooper

      And majority of his old products made in China.

  • Alfa Giulia QV

    They’re still going to do it regardless.

  • Jason Miller

    Someone take that phone away from him.

  • lagunas3ca

    Heading into its fifth straight year of declining sales, who cares?

  • U8INIT

    Y’all put him there; so, deal with him…

    • Enter Ranting

      Mr. Mueller is doing just that.

  • Big Black Duck

    its funny how a free trade was favored by conservatives in the past and now in an about turn conservatives are becoming protectionist under the guise of Nationalism..Normally Liberals and Progressive should be satisfied with this…but a fortunate side effect of Free Trade was the inter-dependency of economies which prevented wars …which i believe Liberals and Progressives now prefer free trade for such reason… I predict once all these trade wars end with tarrifs…we will have a less peaceful planet

  • Brent Morrison

    Is this Bikescoops?

  • Enter Ranting

    And where again are Drumpf’s “lifestyle” products, along with his feckless daughter’s clothing line, produced? He’s a failure at business, and he’s giving business advice to Harley Davidson? Sad.

  • Enter Ranting

    He’s not a comedian. He’s a failed businessman, a moron, a racist, a serial adulterer and a pervert who was good friends with a convicted pedophile, who is in jail. But her emails.

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