Trump Threatens Harley-Davidson 'Will Be Taxed Like Never Before!'

Muriel Colon
June 26, 2018

Amid reports that Harley-Davidson is moving some production out of the United States due to the recently announced retaliatory tariffs by the European Union, President Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday and warned the company against such a move. "If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end - they surrendered, they quit!", the president wrote on his account.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson said it had chose to build the plant in Thailand after Mr Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have slashed import tariffs. Trump tweeted early Tuesday, after suggesting Monday that "taxes" were "just a Harley excuse", urging the company to "be patient!"

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a vocal critic of the president's previous tariffs announcements, jumped to Harley's defense after its announcement Monday.

Harley announced Monday that because of the European Union's new tariffs on U.S. motorcycles -retaliation for Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs - the company was shifting some production to non-US plants.

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.


"Trump tweeted ".We are finishing our study of Tariffs on cars from the E.U.in that they have long taken advantage of the U.S.in the form of Trade Barriers and Tariffs.

The president has held up the iconic American motorcycle maker as an example of a US business harmed by trade barriers in other countries, but Harley-Davidson had warned that tariffs could negatively impact its sales. Trump has said he will follow through on these tariffs unless European leaders agree to remove tariffs they have on USA auto imports, but so far Europe's leaders have mostly shown signs of meeting Trump's tariffs with tariffs of their own. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", Trump said on Twitter. According to Thomson Reuters, the European Union tariffs reduced Harley-Davidson's 2018 profit by 5-8 percent. The EU sales make up nearly 16.4 percent of Harley-Davidson's worldwide sales. To avoid this cost, the company will shift to countries where there are lower or no tariffs.

"The damage is likely to have political consequences, as the retaliatory tariffs target industries in swing states", the board said, citing states such as Wisconsin that went heavily for Trump in 2016 but are deeply affected by his administration's tariffs. Martinez added. "Does Harley even understand what "Made in America" means?"

The EU is imposing tariffs on $3.2 billion worth of American goods, including motorcycles, orange juice, bourbon, peanut butter, motorboats, cigarettes and denim.

On Monday, Mr Trump said the iconic maker of motorcycles had waved the "White Flag" after he had fought hard for the company. "They must play fair or they will pay tariffs!" he said in the post. "They're tax increases on Americans, they don't work, and apparently we're going to see more of this".

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