Trump threatens Harley-Davidson with tax

Harley, stung by tariffs, shifts some production overseas

In a series of caustic early-morning tweets Trump dismissed any notion that his policies were responsible for Harley-Davidson's move. Trump says that he's "done so much for you, and then this". The President went on to tell Harley-Davidson that, despite the proposed tariffs raising the price of every raw material that goes into a Harley, that the Motor Company would not be affected by them.

Michael Pflughoeft, a spokesman for Milwaukee-based Harley, declined to comment on Trump's latest tweet.

Trump warned the iconic American brand that any shift in production "will be the beginning of the end". The company doesn't have specific information on where production for the European Union will take place, he said.

The Milwaukee-based company said on Monday it will move production of motorcycles shipped to the European Union from the United States to its worldwide facilities and forecast that the trading bloc's tariffs - introduced as a counter to Trump's tariffs on some EU-produced metals - would cost the company $90 million to $100 million a year.

Asked if Trump still feels that tariffs are the best option, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday that "the European Union is attempting to punish US workers with unfair and discriminatory trade policies, and President Trump will continue to push for free, fair and reciprocal trade in hopes that the EU will join is in that". The EU's tariffs on motorcycles were put in place as a response to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. But Trump says that's an excuse and threatened the company with a "big tax" if they move their plant.

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It said that shifting targeted production from the USA to worldwide facilities could take at least nine to 18 months to be fully completed.

Last year, Harley-Davidson announced it would build a plant in Thailand after Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which would have abolished tariffs on their motorcycles across 40 percent of the world's economy.

Harley-Davidson said the move overseas was to avoid European Union tariffs, not to sell in the U.S. market. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", Trump said.

Trump first responded angrily to the Harley announcement on Monday, saying he has supported the 115-year-old manufacturer and was surprised by its plans, which he described as waving the "White Flag".

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