Trump slams Harley-Davidson as tariffs start to affect trade

Iconic motorcycle maker accused by Trump of ‘waving the white flag’ after it announced plans to move some of its production out of the US.

US President Donald Trump has slammed motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, for planning to move some of its production out of the US.

The iconic US firm wants to avoid paying tariffs on US exports, imposed by the European Union as a retaliatory measure in an escalating trade war with the Trump administration.

The EU is “attempting to punish US workers with unfair and discriminatory trade policies,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

“President Trump will continue to push for free, fair and reciprocal trade, in hopes that the EU will join us,” Huckabee Sanders said.

Trump has used Harley-Davidson as an example of a US business harmed by trade barriers in other countries, but Harley had warned that tariffs could negatively impact its sales.

Trump tweeted on Monday that he’s surprised that Harley-Davidson was first “to wave the White Flag” in the tariff dispute between the US and the European Union.

“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 EU, which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151bn Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient! #MAGA,” Trump tweeted.

A Harley-Davidson spokesman said the company had nothing to say in response to Trump’s tweet beyond its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The EU on Friday began rolling out tariffs on US imports including bourbon, peanut butter and orange juice.

The EU tariffs on $3.4bn worth of US products are retaliation for duties the Trump administration is imposing on European steel and aluminum.