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

Randal Sanchez
June 28, 2018

"Harley-Davidson should stay 100% in America, with the people that got you your success", Trump tweeted.

Trump offered no clarity later in the day when he was asked about tariffs during a White House photo-op with Congress members. Harley-Davidson made the announcement following a 25 per cent tax imposed on its bikes by the European Union last week.

The president has held up the motorcycle maker as an example of a USA business harmed by trade barriers in other countries.

In a series of Twitter posts on Tuesday morning, Trump suggested the famous American brand was using trade tensions over tariffs as an excuse to move production.

On March 9, Trump had imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, leading to fears of a global trade war. But those trade partners feel insulted by Trump and have made a decision to retaliate. But many of Harley's motorcycles sold in India are assembled in the country, so they may not be subject to the tariffs anyway.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2018A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! "We want the tariffs removed", Trump said. Trump has defended it by arguing that this is in retaliation to the imbalance of trade that the United States has with major trading partners including China, the European Union and India.

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

Harley on Wednesday responded while sidestepping the controversy and not commenting on the president's tweets. The company has said ramping up production overseas could take at least nine to 18 months. "Taxes just a Harley excuse - be patient!"

Trump added that the administration is finishing a study on imposing tariffs on cars from the EU.

The relationship between Trump and Harley-Davidson has gone from a love affair to a bad breakup in a matter of months. Trump wrote. "Their employees and customers are already very angry at them". If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end - they surrendered, they quit! To avoid raising its prices and risk losing business in the valuable European market, Harley-Davidson said it would shift some bike production overseas.

"A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!" he said earlier on Twitter.

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