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President Donald Trump blasted Harley-Davidson on Tuesday in a series of tweets for its decision to shift some production of its bikes overseas, warning that it would be the “beginning of the end” for the venerable American motorcycle maker.
“A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them,” Trump claimed in one tweet, citing no evidence of internal complaints. “If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!”
The Wisconsin-based company, which already has several factories overseas, said Monday it would begin to shift the production of motorcycles abroad to avoid the retaliatory tariffs imposed by the European Union last week in response to the tariffs Trump placed on European steel and aluminum.
Harley-Davidson explained that the E.U. tariffs would result in an incremental cost of about $2,200 per average motorcycle exported from the U.S. to the E.U.
Trump, however, excoriated the company in follow-up tweets on Tuesday, saying that it is using the tariffs as an “excuse” to move its production to overseas facilities and that eventually “it will all even out.”
“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,” Trump said. “Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse. Shows how unbalanced & unfair trade is, but we will fix it.”
He added, “We are finishing our study of Tariffs on cars from the E.U. in that they have long taken advantage of the U.S. in the form of Trade Barriers and Tariffs. In the end it will all even out – and it won’t take very long!”