Harley-Davidson Inc is enduring a third day of attacks on Twitter by Donald Trump, with the president again misconstruing the iconic USA motorcycle maker's business.
On June 15, we all heard how Harley-Davidson is considering ramping up production overseas to keep costs down if the Trump Administration's disastrous tariffs go into effect.
Trump says on Twitter, "We won't forget, and neither will your customers or your now very HAPPY competitors!" The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Trump's tweet. But company spokesman Michael Pflughoeft said it was assessing the potential impact of the production shift on its US facilities.
To avoid paying a 31% tariff to ship motorcycles from the USA to the EU, Harley made a decision to move more production to its plants in places like Thailand and Brazil. Companies are now coming back to America.
Trump also threatened to tax any motorcycles the company ships into the U.S. That's an empty threat because Harley sells motorcycles in the U.S. from American factories and is unlikely to import additional two-wheelers.
Asked if Trump still feels that tariffs are the best option, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday that "the European Union is attempting to punish USA workers with unfair and discriminatory trade policies, and President Trump will continue to push for free, fair and reciprocal trade in hopes that the EU will join is in that".
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President Trump tweeted Tuesday that Harley-Davidson had already announced it was closing a Kansas City plant and moving those jobs to Thailand.
"Our decision to move some of our operations is 100% based on President Trumps tariffs".
Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, whose Wisconsin district includes Harley's plant in Menomonee Falls, said the European Union has a long history of abusive trade practices but urged Trump to address abuses without harming jobs in the U.S. Taxes just a Harley excuse - be patient!
Harley-Davidson did not immediately respond to request for comment, but said the move overseas was to avoid European Union tariffs, not to sell in the United States market.
The president has repeatedly attacked Amazon.com Inc over what he sees as its unfair treatment of the U.S. Postal Service, and he has complained about the high costs of Boeing Co's replacements for Air Force One aircraft, urging the federal government to cancel the order.
Trump first responded angrily to the Harley announcement on Monday, saying he has supported the 115-year-old manufacturer and was surprised by its plans, which he described as waving the "White Flag".