With 'friends' like Trump, Harley-Davidson scarcely needs enemies.
Months after Trump’s tax scam forced Harley-Davidson to shutter its Kansas City manufacturing plant, the iconic motorcycle manufacturer has been bitten by Trump again. This time, Trump’s trade war has forced the company to move production of some bikes out of the United States.
In response to Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminum, the European Union has raised tariffs on motorcycles imported from the United States. According to Harley-Davidson, these tariffs would cost the company an additional $2,200 per motorcycle, or around $100 million annually.
So Harley-Davidson is moving production of those bikes to unspecified international plants. And that change can’t be made overnight, Bloomberg reports:
Harley estimated that ramping up output in international plants for the EU may take at least nine to 18 months. While the company said it’s committed to making motorcycles in the U.S., it suggested it has no other choice but to move production from its home market. The company sold almost 40,000 bikes in Europe last year, and the continent’s share of total deliveries was the highest since 2011.
That means Harley will be eating the added costs for Trump’s trade war until they can move production — at which point it will likely be forced to shed jobs, or possibly even close another U.S. plant like the one Trump’s tax scam killed.
The bitter irony for Harley-Davidson is that Trump has traded on the company’s “all-American” image by posing himself as its champion — by pushing the very trade and tax policies that are hurting the company now.
And Harley isn’t the first group to feel the bitter sting of Trump’s “friendship.”
Farmers in states that overwhelmingly supported Trump are also in the line of fire of Trump’s trade war, and could lose hundreds of millions of dollars as a result.
But the stakes are just as high for everyone else. According to one study, Trump’s trade war could end up killing half a million jobs per year.
Trump seems determined to stifle the booming economy that President Obama left him.
Published with permission of The American Independent.