“President Donald Trump’s trade policy is backfiring on Harley-Davidson,” as CNN and other media are reporting.
“The company is shifting some production of motorcycles for European customers out of the United States to avoid EU retaliatory tariffs.
“Harley-Davidson’s move is some of the most direct evidence yet that tit-for-tat trade fights between the United States and other countries have consequences for American companies. Harley-Davidson said it stood to lose as much as $100 million a year.
“‘Increasing international production to alleviate the EU tariff burden is not the company’s preference, but represents the only sustainable option,’ Harley-Davidson said in a regulatory filing on Monday.
“The EU began imposing tariffs Friday 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.
“For motorcycles, the EU raised its 6% tariff to 31%. That will make each bike about $2,200 more expensive to export, Harley said.
“Harley 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, based in Milwaukee, employs more than 6,000 people globally. Spokesperson Michael Pflughoeft said the company was ‘assessing the potential impact’ on jobs.
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