US

Trump Welcomes Harley Davidson Boycott Amid Tariff Dispute

By Bowen Xiao

President Donald Trump welcomed a boycott planned by Harley-Davidson owners, calling the move “great” in wake of recent announcements that the company is moving some of its operations overseas.

Trump made the comments in an Aug. 12 post on Twitter following an event at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, where “hundreds” from the group “Bikers for Trump” attended on Aug. 11.

“Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great!,” Trump wrote on Aug. 12. “Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better.”

Supporters watch US President Donald Trump during a Bikers for Trump event at the Trump National Golf Club Aug. 11, 2018, in Bedminster, New Jersey. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The iconic manufacturer known historically for being American-made, said they were planning to shift the production of motorcycles to overseas factories after the European Union raised tariffs on its motorcycles in June from 6 percent to 31 percent as a countermeasure to Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The retaliatory tariffs essentially raise the cost of each motorcycle by $2,200, according to Harley-Davidson. But the company said in a regulatory filing that it does not plan to increase prices as it adjusts.

Trump previously criticised the Wisconsin-based company in June, calling their announcements an “excuse” for them to justify their previously planned manufacturing changes. His administration has battled against eliminating tariffs and trade barriers that harm the interests of the United States.

“Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand. That was long before Tariffs were announced. Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse. Shows how unbalanced & unfair trade is, but we will fix it,” he said.

When calculating the full-year impact from the EU tariffs, Harley Davidson, which employs over 6000 people worldwide, said it estimates the amount to be approximately $90 to $100 million. The company defended their decision in a previous filing by calling it the only sustainable option.

From The Epoch Times

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