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Trump Threatens To Hit Harley-Davidson With Taxes If It Moves Overseas

28 June 2018

Trump, who will hold events in Wisconsin on Thursday, threatened Harley-Davidson earlier in the week, writing that any shift in production "will be the beginning of the end".

But on Monday, the company said the president's trade approach had put its business at a disadvantage, as the European Union hit Harley-Davidson with tariffs of 31 percent on every motorcycle exported to Europe in retaliation for Trump's metal tariffs. "Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson". The president targeted Harley-Davidson on Monday as "the first to wave the White Flag" as a result of these retaliatory measures. He added: "The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!"

Rep. Jim Renacci aligned himself with President Donald Trump, criticizing Harley-Davidson's decision to move some jobs overseas.

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Trump offered no clarity later in the day when he was asked about tariffs during a White House photo-op with Congress members. The E.U., Mexico and Canada were initially excluded from the tariffs when Trump announced them in March, but that expired on June 1.

The Milwaukee-based company said Monday it came to its decision because of retaliatory tariffs it faces in an escalating trade dispute between the USA and the European Union.

"What I would like to do and what I offered at the G7, you remember, I said let's drop all tariffs and all barriers", said Trump.

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To avoid paying a 31% tariff to ship motorcycles from the United States to the EU, Harley chose to move more production to its plants in places like Thailand and Brazil.

Last year, Harley-Davidson announced it would build a plant in Thailand after Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which would have abolished tariffs on their motorcycles across 40 percent of the world's economy. "Their employees and customers are already very angry at them", he said. "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into U.S.without paying a big tax!"

"We see tremendous opportunity, particularly in Southeast Asia and the investment in the plant in Thailand to get around the egregious tariffs and duties, is a part of accessing a very important market", Harley-Davidson chief executive Matthew Levatich said in late April 24. "Taxes just a Harley excuse - be patient!" "I understand that the President is a tough negotiator, but I urge him to consider a more targeted approach that protects American workers and businesses".

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Trump Threatens To Hit Harley-Davidson With Taxes If It Moves Overseas