Harley-Davidson Workers Praise Trump’s Tariffs ‘He’s Just Trying to Save American Industry’ Getty Images 26 Jun 2018 Menomonee Falls WI
US President Donald Trump continued his attacks on the legendary Harley-Davidson motorcycle company Wednesday, warning "we won't forget" after the firm said it planned to shift some manufacturing offshore.
"In this administration, our allegiance will be to the American workers and to American businesses, like Harley-Davidson, that were very strong in the 1980s and I remember this - you were victims of trading abuse - big trading abuse, where they were dumping all sorts of competitors all over the place", Trump said.
Then it appeared as if Harley-Davidson's chief executive was punching back with a quote disparaging Trump.
"Companies are now coming back to America", Trump tweeted.
Trump says on Twitter, "We won't forget, and neither will your customers or your now very HAPPY competitors!"
To avoid paying a 31% tariff to ship motorcycles from the U.S. to the EU, Harley made a decision to movemore production to its plants in places like Thailand and Brazil.
The EU responded to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium, but hitting a series of American products with import taxes, including motorcycles, bourbon and blue jeans. To avoid raising its prices and risk losing business in the valuable European market, Harley-Davidson said it would shift some bike production overseas.
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Either way, moving some production overseas looks like it may be in Harley-Davidson's best interest. That was long before Tariffs were announced.
Trump's attack is the latest in a series of criticisms of United States companies.
"A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!" he said earlier on Twitter. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", Trump said. He added: "The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!"
Rising trade tensions and retaliatory tariffs could pose serious risks for Harley-Davidson, rating agency Moody's said.
Trump first responded angrily to the Harley announcement on Monday, saying he has supported the 115-year-old manufacturer and was surprised by its plans, which he described as waving the "White Flag".
"Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand".
House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose district is home to some of Harley-Davidson's facilities, also pointed to the company as an American firm that would be a victor from tax reform.
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