Harley Davidson boycott would be 'great'

Blanche Robertson
August 13, 2018

US President Donald Trump endorsed calls on Sunday (Aug 12) for a boycott of tariff-hit Harley-Davidson over its plans to move production of its iconic American motorcycles out of the country.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence leaves after meeting with Harley Davidson executives at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington U.S., February 2, 2017. Great! Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. "US will soon have a level playing field, or better", Mr. Trump said in a Twitter post.

Like many of Harley's most loyal customers, Mr. Rathbun was enraged by the company's announcement this summer that, because of the Trump administration's trade fight, it would begin manufacturing the bikes it sells in Europe outside the United States.

Following the latest round of tariffs, the new duties on motorcycles imported to the European Union increased to 31% from just 6%. Harley-Davidson said the tariffs would add about $2,200 to the cost of the average bike built in the US and exported to the trading bloc.

"If I get a T-shirt made in the United States of America, it's going to cost about $8 more", Chris Cox told the New York Times.

Trump supports boycott of Harley-Davidson as tariff tensions weigh

Trump's pronouncement came a day after he welcomed biker supporters to his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, and a New York Times article cited some Harley-Davidson owners criticising the company at a rally in Sturgis, South Dakota in the US.

Harley also plans on introducing a modular 500cc to 1250cc middleweight platform of motorcycles starting in 2020, while also improving its Touring and Cruiser bikes.

The company has repeatedly described the Thailand factory, along with other overseas production, as vital to its long-term need to boost foreign markets to make up for sluggish sales in the US.

Harley doesn't sell motorcycles in the United States that are built overseas, and the company has said that won't change.

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