Trump accuses Harley-Davidson of being 'first to wave the white flag' on trade
Tuesday - 26/06/2018 20:45
President Donald Trump brought the world's two biggest economies to the brink of a trade war Friday by announcing a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports to take effect July 6. Here's how it could affect the U.S. economy and consumers. (June 15) AP
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attacked Harley-Davidson for moving some production overseas, suggesting Monday that the U.S. motorcycle maker was being disloyal in Trump's trade war with the European Union.
"Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag," Trump tweeted Monday as he departed for a campaign trip to South Carolina.
"I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse — be patient!"
The Europeans are targeting iconic U.S. products like motorcycles, blue jeans and bourbon in retaliation for Trump's tariffs on European steel and aluminum. The motorcycle tariffs rose from 6 percent to 31 percent, adding an average of $2,200 to the cost of a motorcycle.
Trump has championed Harley-Davidson from the beginning of his presidency, calling the brand a "true American icon" in a meeting with company executives shortly after taking office. And he's frequently invoked the company in his trade rhetoric, saying "they're treated very unfairly in various countries."
But the company itself has warned that tariffs could end up hurting U.S. jobs. Moving production overseas, it said Monday, was "the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the EU and maintain a viable business in Europe."