US President Donald Trump has slammed Harley Davidson, for planning to move parts of its motorcycle production outside of the US for European customers to avoid retaliatory tariffs that could cost the company up to $100 million a year.
In a tweet published Monday afternoon, Trump said he was surprised that Harley-Davidson “of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them….”
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Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
The Wisconsin based company that Trump has called “an American icon” said in a regulatory filing the EU’s tariff increase — to 31%, from the current 6% — would increase the cost of every motorcycle shipped from the US to Europe by $2,200.
The EU last week imposed stiff tariffs on over $3 billion worth of US-made goods sold within Europe. The move came in response to President Trump’s recent decision to hit steel and aluminum imports with tariffs.
In the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Harley-Davidson said the EU tariffs “would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region.”
“To address the substantial cost of this tariff burden long-term, Harley-Davidson will be implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for EU destinations from the US to its international facilities to avoid the tariff burden,” the company said. “Harley-Davidson expects ramping-up production in international plants will require incremental investment and could take at least nine to 18 months to be fully complete.”
Harley Davidson operates four manufacturing facilities in the US. In addition, it operates plants in Australia, India, Brazil, and Thailand.
The motorcycle maker reported $5.65 billion in revenues in 2017. Europe is its largest overseas market, with almost 40,000 customers.