House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said those pushing tariffs have to be mindful of the outcome of escalating taxes as President Trump threatened that Harley-Davidson would be "taxed like never before" for moving some operations overseas.
Moving the production global will allow Harley-Davidson to avoid tariffs the European Union imposed in retaliation for Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.
Shares of Harley-Davidson were up slightly in midday trading. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end - they surrendered, they quit! He incorrectly said Harley was moving production to Asia from the USA, when in fact the expansion in Thailand was unrelated to the closing in Missouri.
Those tariffs came as a result of Trump's decision to impose steep duties on steel and aluminum imports Europe and elsewhere last month. "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into US without paying a big tax!"
"We don't want to punish, but that is the unfortunate effect, that (US companies) will put pressure on the American administration to say hey, hold on a minute, this is not good for the American economy", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at a news briefing. "And I think the people who ride Harleys aren't happy with Harley-Davidson, and I wouldn't be either". "Now they are trying to use the tariffs to excuse and deflect from that decision".
Michael Pflughoeft, a spokesman for Harley-Davidson, said that the anti-Trump quote linked to the company's chief executive that was circulating on Twitter in various forms was "absolutely, unequivocally fake and false". Trump wrote. "Their employees and customers are already very angry at them". The EU raised an existing tariff it had on the company's motorcycles by nearly five times in retaliation for the U.S.' tariffs on EU aluminum and steel.
Harley on Wednesday responded while sidestepping the controversy and not commenting on the president's tweets. "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into USA without paying a big tax!"
"Harley-Davidson is a true American icon, one of the greats".
The iconic motorcycle brand is the latest U.S. corporation to run afoul of the U.S. president, who has attacked Amazon as a tax dodger and scamming the U.S. Postal Service.