Trump to Harley-Davidson: 'We won’t forget, and neither will your customers'

28 June, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Trump Harley-Davidson

President Donald Trump warned Harley-Davidson on Wednesday "we won't forget" about the company's decision to shift some motorcycle production overseas, and suggested that the Wisconsin-based company will lose out to its competitors. The president then claimed employees and customers are already angry at the company and moving production overseas would be the beginning of the end for Harley-Davidson.

It forecast that the trading bloc's tariffs - introduced as a counter to Trump's tariffs on some EU-produced metals - would cost the company $90-100m a year.

He said the company has been working with Twitter to see if the tweets could be removed and to figure out where they originated. On Wednesday, Trump again took to Twitter to urge the company not to move any of its operations overseas and warning "we won't forget" the decision.

"Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to US -based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally", the company said Monday.

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The EU responded to USA tariffs on steel and aluminium, but hitting a series of American products with import taxes, including motorcycles, bourbon and blue jeans. And in response to those European Union tariffs, Harley has said it will move some bike production to Europe since it is a business after all and has to make money somehow.

Sales of Harley-Davidson have slowed down considerably in the USA domestic market over the last couple of years, while overseas sales have strengthened. That was long before Tariffs were announced.

The company noted this would have raised the cost of motorcycles built in the United States and imported into Europe by approximately $2,200 (€1,888) each. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", Trump said. "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into U.S.without paying a big tax!"

The factory in Thailand, which will open later this year, would let Harley-Davidson avoid the country's up to 60% tariffs on imported motorcycles and help it get tax breaks while exporting to neighbouring countries, according to the company.

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The relationship between Trump and Harley-Davidson has gone from a love affair to a bad breakup in a matter of months.

Michael Pflughoeft, a spokesman for Harley-Davidson, said that the anti-Trump quote linked to the company's chief executive that was circulating on Twitter in various forms was "absolutely, unequivocally fake and false".

Those tariffs are a retaliation for trade penalties imposed by the Trump administration. The company now manufactures and assembles some bikes and parts at its facilities in Brazil, Australia, India and Thailand.

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