UNITED STATES—On Sunday, July 1 President Donald Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that he believes Harley-Davidson will take a “big hit” after outsourcing. The motorcycle company decided to send some production overseas in order to avoid European Union tariffs.
In Bartiromo’s interview with President Trump, he expressed his belief that the company should not outsource its product, and will suffer for doing so.
“Should you be calling out specific companies? You’re the President,” Bartiromo asked Trump. He replied, “Yes. Yes I should.” The president went on to say that he devoted a lot of time to the company. “I guarantee everybody that ever bought a Harley Davidson voted for Trump,” he said. The President added, “They made this deal at the beginning of the year, before they even ever heard the word tariff.”
According to a report from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the EU has raised U.S. motorcycle tariffs from 6 percent to 31 percent, each bike would cost about $2,200 more than usual, and cost the company $90-$100 million annually. The report states, “Harley-Davidson will be implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for EU destinations from the U.S. to its international facilities to avoid the tariff burden.”
The report also notes, “Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to U.S. based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally. Increasing international production to alleviate the EU tariff burden is not the company’s preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the EU and maintain a viable business in Europe.”
Trump tweeted on July 3, “Now that Harley-Davidson is moving part of its operation out of the U.S., my Administration is working with other Motor Cycle companies who want to move into the U.S. Harley customers are not happy with their move – sales are down 7% in 2017. The U.S. is where the Action is!”
Market Watch reported that the EU is the company’s second largest sales market, just behind the United States. Europe was the largest growing region with an 8.1 increase in unit sales from a year ago. Prices in the used dropped 12 percent.
President Trump tweeted that “Harley must know that they won’t be able to sell back into the U.S. without paying a big tax!” While the company will be outsourcing some production overseas, products manufactured in Europe will be sold exclusively in Europe.