Harley-Davidson may face credit downgrade because of European Union tariffs

Jun 28, 2018, 17:23
Harley-Davidson may face credit downgrade because of European Union tariffs

Trump tweeted Tuesday that Harley-Davidson had already announced it was closing a Kansas City plant and moving those jobs to Thailand. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), the GOP candidate in the Ohio Senate race, joined with President Donald Trump in attacking Harley-Davidson for allegedly moving some jobs overseas in response to new tariffs - and Renacci has a personal history with the company, Roll Call reported.

At the event, Trump heaped praise on the company for manufacturing its motorcycles in the U.S. and being an iconic American brand.

"Harley-Davidson should stay 100 per cent in America, with the people that got you your success", Trump tweeted. Trump went on to say "When I had Harley-Davidson officials over to the White House, I chided them about tariffs in other countries, like India, being too high".

Harley's announcement of the Thailand plant came months after Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have lowered import tariffs on the company's bikes in some of the fastest-growing motorcycle markets in Asia. "We won't forget, and neither will your customers or your now very HAPPY competitors!" Taxes that the European Union has slapped on its bikes in reaction to Trump's steel and aluminum levies will cost the company as much as $100 million a year. The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!

We're not sure how patient Harley-Davidson can be, honestly.

According to Harley-Davidson, the move "is not the company's preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the European Union and maintain a viable business in Europe".

In January, Harley-Davidson said it would close a plant in Kansas City, Missouri, due to a sharp drop in US demand for its motorcycles, but said it would consolidate work done there into its plant in York, Pennsylvania.

"That was long before Tariffs were announced", Trump said on Twitter.

"Harley-Davidson is using that as an excuse, and I don't like that because I've been very good to Harley-Davidson and they used it as an excuse", he said in response. But many of Harley's motorcycles sold in India are assembled in the country, so they may not be subject to the tariffs anyway. "Now they are trying to use the tariffs to excuse and deflect from that decision".

Harley-Davidson executives met with Trump at the White House previous year after Trump canceled a visit to the company's headquarters in Milwaukee because protests had been planned.