Trump warns Harley-Davidson: 'We won't forget'

Trump Harley-Davidson

Trump Harley-Davidson

The company also said it would move some motorcycle production overseas. Companies are now coming back to America.

Trump says in tweets Tuesday that the company had already announced it was closing a Kansas City plant.

"Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand".

Harley-Davidson has said in a statement that tariffs on motorcycles exported to the European Union have increased from 6 per cent to 31 per cent.

"What I would like to do and what I offered at the G7, you remember, I said let's drop all tariffs and all barriers", he said. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", Trump said.

The company noted this would have raised the cost of motorcycles built in the United States and imported into Europe by approximately $2,200 (€1,888) each. Almost 40,000 Harleys were sold in the European Union previous year; the new tariffs on motorcycles jumped as high as 31 percent. "We want the tariffs removed", he said.

Sales of Harley-Davidson have slowed down considerably in the USA domestic market over the last couple of years, while overseas sales have strengthened. But many of Harley's motorcycles sold in India are assembled in the country, so they may not be subject to the tariffs anyway.

"If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end - they surrendered, they quit!" Trump said these retaliatory tariffs were "completely without justification" under worldwide norms. "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into U.S.without paying a big tax!"

Earlier in the trade battle, Trump cited India's high tariffs on imported motorcycles as an example of why tougher trade policy was necessary.

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".

House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose district is home to some of Harley-Davidson's facilities, also pointed to the company as an American firm that would be a victor from tax reform.

"We see tremendous opportunity, particularly in Southeast Asia and the investment in the plant in Thailand to get around the egregious tariffs and duties, is a part of accessing a very important market", Harley-Davidson chief executive Matthew Levatich said in late April 24.

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