Harley-Davidson, the iconic American motorcycle company, announced that it will be moving some of its United States manufacturing and production overseas after the European Union (EU) began imposing $3.2 billion worth of tariffs on American products, including motorcycles.
Executives at Harley-Davidson say they are moving production out of the U.S. to avoid the EU tariffs that were put in place after President Trump placed tariffs on European steel and aluminum, according to NBC.
“Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to U.S.-based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally,” executives said. “Increasing international production to alleviate the E.U. tariff burden is not the company’s preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the E.U. and maintain a viable business in Europe. Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson.”
Harley-Davidson executives said the company would not raise prices on their motorcycles, but rather they will absorb the cost and are expected to lose up to $100 million.
In response, Trump blasted Harley-Davidson for using the tariffs as an “excuse” to move more of their manufacturing overseas.
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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
In March, Harley-Davidson — which was saved by tariffs on imported motorcycles back in 1983 — slammed Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum just as they were laying off hundreds of American workers and moving their jobs to Thailand, as Breitbart News reported.
In January, Harley-Davidson announced that it would be closing its plant in Kansas City and moving leftover production to York, Pennsylvania. The decision to close the Kansas City plant will result in about 260 American manufacturing workers losing their jobs.
Last year, as Breitbart News reported, about 183 American workers were laid off by the motorcycle company in Kansas City and Menomonee Falls.
Free trade agreements like KORUS and NAFTA helped open up overseas markets for multinational companies to outsource their American manufacturing jobs to countries like Mexico, leaving millions of Americans laid off in the process.