Trump revs up boycott of Harley-Davidsons

Blanche Robertson
August 13, 2018

A really bad move! "US will soon have a level playing field, or better".

The comment came as part of The Times" wider look at the reaction of pro-Trump motorcyclists to President TrumpDonald John TrumpKavanaugh once said president would likely have to testify before grand jury if subpoenaed: report Twitter says InfoWars account will remain online despite violating its rules Melania Trump family immigration lawyer praises so-called "chain migration' MORE's feud with Harley-Davidson.

"Great!" Mr Trump tweeted after a Bikers for Trump event at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump pushed Harley-Davidson to keep its production "100% in America", but also criticized the company and warned it would take a "big hit" for the move and cited his base's support for the company.

In January, Harley-Davidson announced it would close its Kansas City, Missouri assembly plant and consolidate jobs in York, Pennsylvania.

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Harley-Davidson was targeted with EU tariffs after Trump imposed stiff duties on European steel and aluminium.

American demand for motorcycles has waned while foreign interest has grown. The company is developing a smaller displacement 250cc to 500cc motorcycle for emerging markets in Asia through a partnership with a manufacturer in the region, and will launch its first electric bike in 2019 with more models to follow through 2022, it said. "Other companies are coming back where they belong!"

Trump accused Harley of using the European retaliatory tariffs as "an excuse" for moving manufacturing overseas.

The relationship flipped after Harley announced plans earlier this summer to shift production of bikes destined for Europe to overseas facilities.

Harley acknowledged it already had been moving some production abroad, but said moving more production overseas was the "only sustainable option" in the face of a trade war. "USA will soon have a level playing field, or better".

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