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President Trump Criticizes Harley-Davidson for Planning to Shift Production to Avoid EU Tariffs


President Donald Trump has criticized Harley-Davidson motorcycle over its plans to shift production away from the United States in order to avoid EU tariffs.

In a tweet, he said he was surprised that Harley-Davidson had become “the first to wave the white flag”.

The motorcycle maker earlier said making bikes for the European market would be transferred to other countries.

The European Union tariffs are a response to new US duties on steel and aluminum imports.

President Trump tweeted: “Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. 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! #MAGA

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On June 25, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at a briefing that the EU was “attempting to punish US workers with unfair and discriminatory trade policies”.

He added: “President Trump will continue to push for free, fair and reciprocal trade, in hopes that the EU will join us.”

The Wisconsin-based company said the increased costs from the EU tariffs were a “substantial” burden and a threat to its international sales, which it has been trying to expand.


Harley-Davidson has assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand as well as in the US.

The company said it would raise investment in its international plants, though it did not say which ones, adding that it expected the increase in production to take nine to 18 months.

Harley-Davidson said the tariffs would add, on average, $2,200 to each bike exported to Europe from the US as the import tax increases from 6% to 31%.