Don't wave the white flag, Trump tells Harley-Davidson

Don't wave the white flag, Trump tells Harley-Davidson

President Donald Trump's trade war with the European Union is undermining Harley-Davidson Inc., a manufacturer he embraced soon after taking office, by costing the company as much as US$100 million a year and spurring a shift in motorcycle production out of the U.S.

Harley-Davidson said the increase in tariffs would cost it an extra $30 million to $45 million for the rest of 2018. "Increasing worldwide production to alleviate the European Union tariff burden is not the company's preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the European Union and maintain a viable business in Europe".

In 2017, Harley sold almost 40,000 new motorcycles in Europe which accounted for 14 percent of the company's sales past year.

"Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to USA -based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally", the company said in a statement.

Harley-Davidson plans to shift the production of some of its bikes out of the U.S. in response to Europe's new tariffs on motorcycle imports.

In response to tariffs imposed by the European Union, Harley-Davidson says it will move production of motorcycles made for markets overseas out of the United States. Companies are now coming back to America.

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"The only response White House press secretary Sarah Sanders could muster on Monday to the Harley news is that 'the European Union is trying to punish USA workers by engaging in unfair trade practices.'" the editorial stated before accusing, "But the Harley harm is made in America-that is, the White House".

Donald Trump is no longer a fan of Harley Davidson, according to his always-active Twitter.

Trump remained focused on the most recent round of tariffs, insisting that Europe had "long taken advantage of" the U.S., but that: "In the end it will all even out - and it won't take very long!" Harley tied its higher costs to a sequence started by Trump, who praised the company as a model American manufacturer during a February 2017 meeting at the White House.

Harley's announcement came as administration officials struggled to present a united front on another element of Trump's trade policy, new measures created to curb China's ability to access American technology by investing in American companies.

Noting that previous year commended Harley-Davidson for "building things in America", and called the company "a true American icon, one of the greats", the Journal said Trump has fallen flat when it comes to helping to create more jobs at the company - and is driving them away instead.

The president's comments follow the company's announcement that new duties mean each motorcycle heading into Europe will cost an increased cost of $2,200. Case in point, Harley Davidson.

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Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler last week cut its 2018 profit forecast citing growing trade tensions.

But companies have warned that retaliatory tariffs could be devastating for business, or lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers.

"For Harley to be forced to move production out of the country because of the tariffs is very damaging to Trump's repeated claim that his trade, tax and regulatory policies will get companies to boost their USA investments and create good manufacturing jobs", Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told Business Insider.

The shift of production - and jobs - from the factories in Europe was disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday. Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson.

"This is further proof of the harm from unilateral tariffs", AshLee Strong, a Ryan spokeswoman, said Monday.

Mr Trumps tweet barrage comes after Harley Davidson said it would shift some production of bikes heading for customers in the European Union to its global production plants.

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Spokesman Michael Pflughoeft told CNN that as of Monday Harley-Davidson was still "assessing the potential impact" on the company's 6,000-plus workforce that is mainly concentrated in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Wisconsin.

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