- President Trump says European Union tariffs hitting Harley Davidson are “unfair.”
- He pledges to retaliate after the company posted first-quarter profit that fell 26.8%.
- Harley says falling demand, higher costs from U.S. tariffs on raw materials and European taxes on imports of its motorcycles hurt its earnings.
President Donald Trump appeared to reverse course on Harley Davidson on Tuesday, pledging to retaliate against “unfair” European Union tariffs that the company partially blamed for its nearly 27% drop in first-quarter profit.
Trump, who called for a boycott against the motorcycle company last year amid a spat over steel, said that the EU tariffs have forced Harley to move U.S. jobs overseas. “So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!” he said in a tweet.
“Harley Davidson has struggled with Tariffs with the EU, currently paying 31%. They’ve had to move production overseas to try and offset some of that Tariff that they’ve been hit with which will rise to 66% in June of 2021.” @MariaBartiromo So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2019
Harley announced plans last year to move production of its motorcycles destined for the EU to overseas facilities from the U.S. to avoid EU tariffs imposed in retaliation against Trump’s duties on aluminum and steel imports. In response, Trump called for a boycott of the company and threatened higher taxes as retaliation.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. Harley said it hasn’t moved jobs overseas due to tariffs, but moving production of EU motorcycles to their plant in Thailand, which came on late last year to support customers in the ASEAN region. No jobs were impacted here in the US as a result.
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