Trump blasts Harley-Davidson’s decision to shift production overseas

Harley-Davidson to move production overseas thanks to Trump’s tariffs

"Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag", Trump tweeted Monday as he departed for a campaign trip to SC.

The president on Tuesday tweeted that if Harley goes through with its plans to move some production overseas, "it will be the beginning of the end - they surrendered, they quit!"

In one Tuesday tweet, Trump suggested that Harley was motivated by a hidden agenda, writing: "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into the US without paying a big tax!"

It was a sign of an early administration strategy as companies wrestle with Trump's trade fights, which he says will benefit American workers. Trump blasted Harley-Davidson in remarks Tuesday afternoon, accusing them of using the tariffs as an "excuse". The EU targeted the United States vehicles as part of its rebuttal to Trump's tariffs on imported aluminum and steel.

Harley-Davidson had long planned to open a new plant in Thailand, a decision that pre-dated the escalating trade war between Trump and leaders of a number of other countries.

In a filing Monday, the company stated that the European Union tariffs on exported motorcycles from the US rose from 6 percent to 31 percent, making each bike about $2,200 more expensive to export. For the year at large, the company estimates the annual impact due to European Union tariffs to be approximately $90 to $100 million.

The Milwaukee-based company said it came to its decision because of retaliatory tariffs it faces in an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and the European Union.

While Reagan did raise tariffs on Japanese motorcycle companies like Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha in an effort to save the struggling Harley-Davidson, there is debate over how much the tariffs actually helped the company. The EU sales make up nearly 16.4 per cent of Harley-Davidson's worldwide sales.

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The firm has not yet confirmed which countries it will move production for EU-targeted products to. And the great icon of Harley-Davidson is doing these tariffs and moving overseas and continues to move overseas. Martinez added. "Does Harley even understand what "Made in America" means?"

But Trump appears to believe Harley-Davidson will manufacture products for the US market overseas, which it so far has not indicated it plans to do with this move. The company says assembly of "America's motorcycle" in Thailand will lower prices and allow immediate exports to all of Asean and China.

In response to Trump's tariffs, Europeans are targeting the most iconic American products, such as motorcycles, blue jeans, and bourbon.

In his freewheeling speech, Trump said nothing about Harley but described the United States as being ripped off by its trading partners. "Every dollar that we send in exchange for goods will come back to us from foreigners in the form of investment". The company announced plans to build the new factory in Thailand after the Trump administration withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would have lowered Asian tariffs on some of its motorcycles.

Harley's departure is particularly embarrassing for Trump since the president has repeatedly praised the company. But since then the company has been counting the costs of his trade policy.

House Speaker Paul Ryan cautioned against the tariffs: Harley-Davidson is based out of Wisconsin, his home state. Alden said. "This will pose a real challenge to the president's core claim that his policies will lead companies to build more things in the U.S". And on Monday, the company said it plans to move some of its operations overseas.

Sanders accused the European Union of repeatedly engaging "in unfair trade practices" and that Trump is saying "enough is enough".

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