Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

Trump denies he’s to blame for Harley-Davidson decision

Trump denies he’s to blame for Harley-Davidson decision

U.S. President Donald Trump accused Harley-Davidson Inc. of using new tariffs on trade as cover for an existing plan to shift some production abroad and threatened the motorcycle manufacturer with a "big tax" on bikes imported to the U.S. if it relocates some plants overseas. The company had no immediate response Tuesday to the president's assertions.

Harley-Davidson announced it will move some production of European motorcycles to the EU to avoid tariffs.

In the filing, Harley Davidson says they made a decision to move production because the cost increase "would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region".

Harley-Davidson says it faces a tariff on average of $2,200 USA per bike in Europe now.

I had Harley-Davidson officials over to the White House, I chided them about tariffs in other countries, like India, being too high. But those countries have treated Trump's action as an insult and have chosen to respond in kind.

The administration's move to impose the tariffs came after a nine-month investigation, led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, which found the current level of aluminum and steel imports to the US had the "potential to threaten our national security".

Just minutes before. he wrote: "Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand".

"Harley-Davidson's announcement today is the latest slap in the face to the loyal, highly-skilled workforce that made Harley an iconic American brand", said Robert Martinez Jr., president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

"Good luck to Republicans running on the Trump tariffs in November", the editorial board wrote in a new op-ed. "Taxes just a Harley excuse - be patient!"

"The European Union is attempting to punish USA workers with unfair and discriminatory trade policies, and President Trump will continue to push for free, fair and reciprocal trade in hopes that the EU will join us in that", Sanders told reporters at the White House.

In fact, Trump has tried to threaten numerous countries with tariffs if they don't reduce tariffs and other trade barriers, but so far most of those discussions have ended in acrimony and frustration.

A group from Harley-Davidson met with Trump at the White House previous year.

President Donald Trump has used the iconic American motorcycle maker as an example of a US business harmed by trade barriers in other countries, but Harley had warned that tariffs could negatively impact its sales.

One of biggest unions the company works with came out on the president's side.

The company says it's doing so because of tariffs it's facing in a trade dispute between the US and the European Union.

Trump added that the administration is finishing a study on imposing tariffs on cars from the European Union, which he claims has taken advantage of the USA for too long. Harley-Davidson employs more than 6,000 people globally. Their employees and customers are already very angry at them.

The President also predicted the company's demise - "they surrendered, they quit!" - and said their "Aura will be gone".

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