Trump's half-truths on Harley overseas plans

Posted June 28, 2018

Harley-Davidson, facing rising costs from new tariffs, will begin shifting the production of motorcycles heading for Europe from the U.S.to factories overseas.

The crisis began when the U.S. government imposed additional tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union (EU) region.

Trump warned the iconic American brand that any shift in production "will be the beginning of the end".

It was unclear what taxes Trump was referring to, and why the company might have to pay them, since it will maintain production in the United States for USA customers. Trump wrote in one tweet. It was unclear what the president was referring to or how he could impose taxes on a single company. He threatened to hit the company with an unspecified tax if it attempted to sell motorcycles made outside the USA back into the country.

"As a rider and owner of a Harley Davidson and as a former Harley Davidson dealer, I condemn this decision and I strongly urge them to reconsider it". While Harley Davidson was making bikes in the United States the European Union taxes hurt the USA economy, Harley Davidson, and potential the European Union consume r, if the taxes were passed on.

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The firm has not yet confirmed which countries it will move production for EU-targeted products to.

"The European Union is trying to punish United States workers because they have engaged repeatedly in unfair trade practices".

Brussels imposed tariffs on a range of US-made products, including cosmetics, whiskey and cranberry juice, after Mr Trump imposed extra taxes on European Union steel and aluminum. It did not respond directly to Trump. In the end it will all even out - and it won't take very long! But those trade partners feel insulted by Trump and have chose to retaliate. Trump has said he will follow through on these tariffs unless European leaders agree to remove tariffs they have on us auto imports, but so far Europe's leaders have mostly shown signs of meeting Trump's tariffs with tariffs of their own.

Harley announced Monday that because of the European Union's new tariffs on USA motorcycles - which came in retaliation for Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs - the company was shifting some production to non-US plants.

On NPR, Joe Capra of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Local 176, said he believes Harley-Davidson is using the tariff issue as an excuse for to do what they long planned to do. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", he said. "Shows how unbalanced & unfair trade is, but we will fix it", the president also stated.

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Trump incorrectly connected the two decisions and threatened to tax any motorcycles the company ships into the United States, even though the company is unlikely to import two-wheelers into its home market.

As my colleague Rick Newman has written previously, from the outset Trump's actions on trade this year have implicitly chosen which industries and companies would be winners and which would be losers.

"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. - Harley-Davidson is not looking to import bikes manufactured overseas back to the U.S. The motorcycles made abroad will only sell abroad, while U.S. bikes will continue to be made in the U.S.

"I think tariffs are basically taxes", the Wisconsin Republican said during a press conference with House GOP leaders.

Harley, which sold almost 40,000 motorcycles in Europe a year ago, said it planned to absorb those costs rather than pass them onto customers and risk hurting sales.

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In a filing to their investors, Harley-Davidson have announced that they plan to shift production of some of the models out of the U.S. to avoid the new European Union import tariffs.