Trump 'surprised' as Harley-Davidson moves some production overseas

Harley-Davidson To Move More Production Oversees Amid US-EU Trade Tensions

Trump's attack, the latest in a series of criticisms of US companies, was an about-face for the president, who hosted company officials and gleaming Harley-Davidson bikes on the White House lawn shortly after his inauguration.

Harley-Davidson announced Monday it would move some of its production overseas to avoid a dramatic tariff increase imposed by the European Union.

Harley-Davidson, which Trump has cited in the past as a company hurt by US trade regulation, said the increased tariffs would cost the company an extra $30 million to $45 million in 2018.

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

"When I had Harley-Davidson officials over to the White House, I chided them about tariffs in other countries, like India, being too high", Trump tweeted.

Trump announced the new tariffs, which affect imports of steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, back in late May. In the U.S., Harley-Davidson sold 147,972 motorcycles past year, according to company data.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Trump framed Harley-Davidson's announcement as a fake-out, claiming the company had already said it would shift manufacturing overseas and was "just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse".

Harley-Davidson's announcement came by way of a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, which noted the tariffs would raise the cost of their products in the European market by about $100 million a year. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", Trump said. "And I think the people who ride Harleys aren't happy with Harley-Davidson and I wouldn't be either".

As a manufacturer of big motorcycles, Harley-Davidson is one of a handful of brands that are recognizable symbols of America's self-image.

According to the company, the EU's new tariffs will increase the cost of a motorcycle shipped from the United States to Europe by $2,200. "In the end it will all even out - and it won't take very long!" he said.

The EU responded to United States tariffs on steel and aluminum, but hitting a series of American products with import taxes, including motorcycles, bourbon and blue jeans. "They must play fair or they will pay tariffs!".

FILE PHOTO: Harley Davidson motorcycles are displayed for sale at a showroom in London, Britain, June 22 2018. Those countries retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Mr Trump said he has fought hard for the company and was surprised by its plans, which he described as waving the "White Flag".

Last year, as Breitbart News reported, about 183 American workers were laid off by the motorcycle company in Kansas City and Menomonee Falls.

On Monday, the vice president of the European Union's governing body said that Europe and China will form a group aimed at reforming global trade rules.

Trump has also threatened fresh tariffs on European auto imports, which would especially punish Germany, home of Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler. He could be referring to the tariffs he is attempting to unilaterally impose on foreign imports.

Payne explained that it will cost the company $200 million to close the Kansas City plant and open a new one in Thailand. Even Harley Davidson is not exercised over the issue and it seeks to expand its footprint overseas. The EU is the company's second-largest market to the USA -selling nearly 40,000 motorcycles previous year.

Ryan says the USA should counter unfair trading practices, but says, "There are better tools than tariff increases".

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