President warned the iconic American brand that any shift in production “will be the beginning of the end”.
UNITED STATES.- President Donald Trump sought Tuesday to avoid blame for Harley-Davidson’s decision to move some motorcycle production overseas and threatened to tax the manufacturer “like never before!” as punishment for the planned production shift.
The Milwaukee-based company said Monday it came to its decision because of retaliatory tariffs it faces in an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and the European Union. The company had no immediate response Tuesday to the president’s assertions.
Trump warned the iconic American brand that any shift in production “will be the beginning of the end.”
“The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!”Trump said in one of several tweets Tuesday morning about Harley-Davidson. It was unclear what the president was referring to or how he could impose taxes on a single company.
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 is using that as an excuse and I don’t like that because I’ve been very good to Harley-David-son and they used it as an excuse,” he said in response. “And I think the people who ride Harleys aren’t happy with Harley-Davidson and I wouldn’t be either.”
The president has held up the motorcycle maker as an example of a U.S. business harmed by trade barriers in other countries. But Harley-Davidson had warned last year against responding to foreign trade barriers with higher American tariffs, saying the levies could negatively impact sales.