Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Trump: Harley using EU tariffs as pretext for off-shoring

Washington, Jun 25 (EFE).- President Donald Trump said Monday that US motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson was using higher European Union tariffs on its iconic two-wheelers as an excuse to shift part of its production outside the United States.

“Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag,” Trump said on Twitter hours after Harley announced plans to shift some manufacturing activity to foreign facilities, citing EU tariffs as the reason.

Concesionario Harley-Davidson en Revere, EEUU, el 25 de junio del 2018. El fabricante de motocicletas Harley-Davidson planea trasladar parte de su producción fuera de EEUU a raíz de los aranceles impuestos recientemente por la Unión Europea, una medida que Bruselas tomó para contrarrestar los gravámenes aplicados por Washington. EFE

“I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the EU, which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient!,” the president wrote.

The EU sharply raised tariffs on emblematic US products, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Levi’s jeans, in retaliation for Washington’s imposition of tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, on imports of European steel and aluminum.

The levy on Harley products entering the EU soared from 6 percent to 31 percent, adding roughly $2,200 to the retail price for one of the Wisconsin-based company’s bikes.

“To address the substantial cost of this tariff burden long-term, Harley-Davidson will be implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for EU destinations from the US to its international facilities to avoid the tariff burden,” the manufacturer said Monday.

Europe is Harley’s second-biggest market outside the US, according to the company, which said that the roughly 40,000 motorcycles it sold last year in the EU represented 16 percent of the total.