This latest skirmish marks a continued escalation in the trade war between the US and the rest of the world which began when Trump slapped a series of tariffs on some countries at the end of March, which were then extended to close allies such as the European Union at the end of May. He tweeted that its "employees and customers are already very angry at them".
"Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand", Trump continued.
On NPR, Joe Capra of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Local 176, said he believes Harley-Davidson is using the tariff issue as an excuse for to do what they long planned to do. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", Trump said on Twitter.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also told reporters at a briefing on Monday that the European Union was "attempting to punish United States workers with unfair and discriminatory trade policies". Local members of the Harley Owners Group who spoke to The Forum Tuesday said they thought the move would definitely hurt the company's "made in America" brand, but that it wouldn't necessarily stop them from owning or buying another Harley-Davidson bike. With sales stalling in the U.S., Harley-Davidson is increasingly relying on Europe and other overseas markets for growth, Wedbush's Hardiman said.More news: Blood Moon 2018: Longest Total Lunar Eclipse of Century Occurs July 27
The company said that it was making the move in response to tariffs from the European Union.
In addition to the company's USA manufacturing plants, Harley-Davidson also has plants in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand, according to the company's website. He threatened to hit the company with an unspecified tax if it attempted to sell motorcycles made outside the USA back into the country.
Per Trump's tweet - "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into US without paying a big tax!"
The United States earlier this month imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, provoking a "tit-for-tat" response from the trading bloc against US goods. "Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson", the filing read.
Trump vowed to make the iconic motorcycle maker great again when he took office previous year. US motorcycle sales peaked at more than 1.1 million in 2005 but then plummeted during the recession. Harley-Davidson has denied that.More news: Authorities: 7 arrests in connection with fatal stabbing
"Harley-Davidson is a true American icon, one of the greats".
Some Harley owners agree with the President.
The company said it expects the tariffs to result in incremental costs of $30 million to $45 million for the rest of 2018 and $80 million to $100 million on a full-year basis. The company said in January that it would close its motorcycle plant in Kansas City, Missouri, in a cost-cutting move. He said there are things the government can do to help ― retrain workers who lose jobs, introduce apprenticeship programs and ensure a durable safety net, for example.
In his freewheeling speech, Trump said nothing about Harley but described the United States as being ripped off by its trading partners. That's to say nothing of the enormous selling point of "Made in the USA" which is very important to H-D's fiercely loyal and often patriotic fan base.
"Unfortunately, this confirms my concerns and is a far too predictable outcome of policies that give companies like Harley-Davidson incentives to make their products elsewhere".More news: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 is gunning for Intel's PC market