Trump endorses call for boycott of Harley-Davidson motorcycles

Sergio Conner
August 13, 2018

A Harley-Davidson spokesman didn't immediately respond to a voice mail and email seeking comment. It will also likely be his last.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence leaves after meeting with Harley Davidson executives at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington U.S., February 2, 2017.

US President Donald Trump has backed boycotting American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, the latest salvo in a dispute between the company and Mr Trump over tariffs on steel. A really bad move!

The company acted after Trump's administration imposed steel and aluminum tariffs that promoted retaliatory measures from the European Union that Harley-Davidson said would increase its costs by US$2200 for each bike shipped there.

Cox's comment is striking given the context of bikers' complaints, and Trump's push for more products to be made in the U.S.

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Mr. Trump met Saturday with a group of bikers who support him, posing for pictures with about 180 bikers at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., where he is on vacation.

'Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. Harley-Davidson said the tariffs would add about $2,200 to the cost of the average bike built in the USA and exported to the trading bloc.

In January, Harley-Davidson announced it would close its Kansas City, Missouri assembly plant and consolidate jobs in York, Pennsylvania.

Motorcycle companies based outside the United States include Japan's Honda and Yamaha, Europe's BMW and Ducati as well as India's Hero and Bajaj Auto, among others.

"We expect this plan will result in an engaged, expanded Harley-Davidson community with a more diverse rider base, along with industry-leading margins and cash flow", Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said in a statement in June.

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