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President Trump continues criticism of Harley Davidson on Twitter

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YORK COUNTY, Pa. – President Donald Trump continued tweeting about his disappointment with Harley Davidson Tuesday morning, one day after the company announced plans to begin shifting the production of motorcycles meant for Europe from the United States to factories overseas.

The EU is imposing tariffs on $3.2 billion worth of American goods, including motorcycles, orange juice, bourbon, peanut butter, motorboats, cigarettes and denim. They are a response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe.

Late Monday afternoon President Trump tweeted, “Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient! #MAGA”

Tuesday morning, the tweets from the president continued.

In an SEC filing released on June 25, the company said that European Union tariffs on motorcycles exported from the United States jumped from 6 percent to 31 percent, forcing the move.

That will make each bike about $2,200 more expensive to export, Harley said. Harley is not raising prices for customers.

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.”

The company said it will take a hit of $30 million to $45 million for the rest of this year.

For motorcycles, the European bloc raised its 6% tariff to 31%. That will make each bike about $2,200 more expensive to export, Harley-Davidson said.

The company is not raising bike prices for customers or retailers.

“The tremendous cost increase, if passed onto its dealers and retail customers, would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region,” the company said.

Instead, it will eat $30 million to $45 million for the rest of this year and $90 to $100 million annually.

The company did not say whether any jobs are at risk. Harley-Davidson employs more than 6,000 people globally. Spokesperson Michael Pflughoeft said the company was “assessing the potential impact” on jobs.

Europe is its second-largest market behind the United States. In 2017, nearly 40,000 European customers bought new Harleys, compared with about 148,000 in the United States.

Europe is becoming more important to the company as US sales slump. Harley-Davidson’s US bike revenue dropped 8.5% last year from 2016, but only fell 0.4% in Europe.

In January, the company said it was closing a factory in Kansas City, Missouri, and consolidating it into a York assembly plant.

Harley-Davidson opened plants in India and Brazil in recent years and is opening another in Thailand this year.