Trump vs. Harley-Davidson: What's really going on?

Trump vs. Harley-Davidson: What's really going on?

Donald Trump used his Tuesday morning Twitter proclamations to go after Harley Davidson for moving their production overseas.

The poster boy of US President Donald Trump's trade war - Harley-Davidson - just embarrassed him by deciding to take part of its manufacturing out of the US.

The EU tariffs went into effect Friday, increasing the cost of a US-made motorcycle by $2,200.

The Milwaukee-based company said Monday it came to its decision because of retaliatory tariffs it faces in an escalating trade dispute between the US and the European Union.

The company said in a government filing Monday that it may locate some production outside the response to European retaliation for the president's tariffs on imported metals.

Harley Davidson said that the company's prices will not rise due to "an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region".

Harley says it stands to lose as much as $100 million a year from new European Union taxes on motorcycles that it would ship from the United States.

Some analysts expect to see more instances of company shifts when the second-quarter earnings season kicks off next month. Trump said in a series of tweets Tuesday morning.

The only way left for Harley-Davidson to avoid the tariff burden was to shift some of its production to Europe. But Trump says that's just an excuse.

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These were the stories the media ignores, he said. "They don't talk about them, very unfair", the president continued. A vote on the compromise bill was abruptly postponed and rescheduled first for Friday, and then later, next week.

The president said in tweets Tuesday that the company had already announced it was closing a Kansas City plant.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a vocal critic of the president's previous tariffs announcements, jumped to Harley's defense after its announcement Monday. He's also complaining about how other countries are still taking advantage of America with "unfair" trade practices.

The company's announcement sparked a massive selloff in the stock market amid fears that other companies might follow suit, anxious about getting caught in the middle of Trump's trade war with Europe, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, and possibly India.

Trump said he's getting other countries to reduce and eliminate tariffs and trade barriers, and to open up markets.

Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich said in April that the factory in Thailand was a "Plan B" that Harley employed after the US abandoned the 11-country Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement Trump withdrew from previous year.

The EU last week began slapping tariffs on American imports like bourbon, peanut butter and orange juice.

Harley-Davidson Inc. sold nearly 40,000 motorcycles in the European Union a year ago, its second-largest market after the United States, according to the company. "They must play fair or they will pay tariffs!"

In another tweet aimed at Brussels, Mr Trump warned the European Union that the United States was close to concluding a study on tariffs on vehicle imports.

The Trump administration has started fights with trading partners around the world, imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, provoking retaliation from close USA allies including the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey.

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