Donald Trump criticises Harley-Davidson for decision over tariffs

Donald Trump criticises Harley-Davidson for decision over tariffs

After the Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer announced that it would be shifting some manufacturing overseas, threatening jobs at its plants in America, Trump singled it out on Twitter.

"To address the substantial cost of this tariff burden long-term, Harley-Davidson will be implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for European Union destinations from the USA to its worldwide facilities to avoid the tariff burden", the company said in a regulatory filing. The E.U. Friday instituted almost $3.3 billion worth of taxes on imports from the United States, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, in response to the Trump administration's 25 and 10 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum, respectively, imposed in late May. Trump tweeted. "Their employees and customers are already very angry at them".

Trump has regularly pointed to Harley-Davidson as an example of a USA business harmed by trade barriers. "The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!"

The plant, which is in the Northland near Kansas City International Airport, was built in 1998 and employs about 800 people. The company said that it would not raise the cost of its bikes, but that the increased tariffs would cost it between $30 million and $45 million.

More potential pitfalls for Harley-Davidson and other US manufacturers could be on the way.

United States motorcycle sales peaked at more than 1.1 million in 2005 but then plummeted during the recession.

On Monday, the vice president of the European Union'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.

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Harley-Davidson representatives did not immediately return a request for comment. Presumably the manufacture of the Harley-Davidson Street 500 and 750 in India plays a part in this decision.

In an October re-election campaign launch video touting his record, Walker rides his Harley and asks the viewer, "Are you with me?" Yet that factory is slated to build motorcycles for the Asian market, not for Europe.

It was also unclear what he was referring to in this post.

While that echoed the president's sentiment on Twitter, Capra told KCUR he does "not have verification" that jobs or equipment from Kansas City are destined for overseas plants. Harley officials denied when they announced the Kansas City closure that it was because of the plant in Thailand, though union officials have made that allegation. The net loser still remains the USA workers who will no longer be employed and the US economy as a whole. The company has more recently cited Trump's decision to pull the USA out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for building the Thai plant, which is expected to open later this year. Harley-Davidson said it will shift some of its production outside of the United States to avoid the tariffs. Now he is expected to restrict technologies sold to China, and Chinese investment in US companies. "The Harley-Davidson riding community is about freedom of speech and freedom of expression, all those guaranteed freedoms", said Rich Gibbon, a longtime rider and the president of an Oakland motorcycle club.

Harley-Davidson isn't the only one complaining about tariffs. He said he doesn't believe the company's prices will go up that much.

"The ultimate goal, if we could get there, is no tariffs or if anything few tariffs on anything", said Walker, a Republican. "Most global trade is still in manufacturing, and the combination of the steel and aluminum tariffs, the coming China tariffs, and the various retaliatory actions are going to increase costs for many manufacturers", Alden said.

In March 2018, the Trump administration announced the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, will face 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum imported by the United States.

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