Trump warns Harley-Davidson: 'We won't forget'

Sean Reid
June 28, 2018

Today, Trump followed up with another swing at Harley-Davidson.

President Donald Trump has spent two days pummeling Harley-Davidson over its decision to move some production overseas, threatening to tax the motorcycle company and warning it would lose its American allure. He's also suggesting the company will lose out to competitors.

Moving the production worldwide will allow Harley-Davidson to avoid tariffs the European Union imposed in retaliation for Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. Of course, Trump had something to Tweet about it and decided to make his opinion public. the president had a lot to say about it.

The Milwaukee-based company said Monday it came to its decision because of retaliatory tariffs it faces in an escalating trade dispute between the USA and the European Union. "We won't forget, and neither will your customers or your now very HAPPY 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.


Last week, India announced higher duties on several goods imported from the USA, in retaliation to Trump imposing hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. 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. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", he said.

Harley-Davidson did not immediately respond to request for comment, but said the move overseas was to avoid European Union tariffs, not to sell in the U.S. market. The company opened an assembly plant in Brazil in 1998, another in India in 2010, and is building one in Thailand that it expects to start production later this year.

"These worldwide facilities exist to support more competitive pricing by eliminating much of the tax and tariff burden imposed on fully assembled Harley-Davidson motorcycles imported into key global markets".

We're not sure how patient Harley-Davidson can be, honestly. "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into USA without paying a big tax!" The EU's hike in tariffs was introduced as a retaliatory move in reply to Trump's price hike on imported aluminium and steel into the US. S&P's rating for Harley is A-minus - not sterling but in the top tier.


In January, Harley-Davidson said it would close a plant in Kansas City, Missouri, due to a sharp drop in US demand for its motorcycles, but said it would consolidate work done there into its plant in York, Pennsylvania.

Harley-Davidson executives met with President Trump at the White House a year ago after President Trump canceled a visit to the company's headquarters in Milwaukee because protests had been planned.

The iconic motorcycle brand is the latest U.S. corporation to run afoul of the U.S. president, who has attacked Amazon as a tax dodger and scamming the U.S. Postal Service.


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