Harley-Davidson Eyeing Offshore Move To Skirt EU Tariffs


CAPRA: It does - not just waving the white flag, but I think that they had this planned for some time, and this is - they're using this as an excuse.

Ryan says the US should counter unfair trading practices, but says, "There are better tools than tariff increases".

Harley-Davidson will not raise its prices to avert "an immediate and lasting detrimental impact" on sales in Europe, it said.

The European tariffs have jumped from 6 percent to 31 percent, the company said. Moving production overseas, it said Monday, was "the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the European Union and maintain a viable business in Europe".

United States companies that range from boat-builders to nail manufacturers have warned about the consequences of escalating trade tensions.

The EU is imposing tariffs on $3.2bn worth of American goods in response to the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe.

Trump has said he will follow through on these tariffs unless European leaders agree to remove tariffs they have on USA auto imports, but so far Europe's leaders have mostly shown signs of meeting Trump's tariffs with tariffs of their own. Last month the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke with Richard Pence, a machinist at the H-D Kansas City plant for 21 years.

In the wake of sluggish sales in the United States, Harley-Davidson announced in January it would close its Kansas City, Missouri assembly plant and consolidate jobs in York, Pennsylvania. And then now they have a plant in Thailand. This latest move is in keeping with Harley's past decisions to open plants outside of North America. "Now they are trying to use the tariffs to excuse and deflect from that decision".

"We are finishing our study of Tariffs on cars from the E.U.in that they have long taken advantage of the U.S.in the form of Trade Barriers and Tariffs", he wrote.

"This will go over like a Vespa at Sturgis".

Harley-Davidson's plight in Europe drew fresh interest from French Parliament member Eric Straumann, who contacted Levatich to propose a new factory on the French-German border in Alsace. He later added, "The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!" "Made in America. Harley-Davidson".

Lincincome adds that, in many cases, manufacturers that can afford to offshore their production may choose to do so.

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In order to avoid the impact of higher European Union tariffs on its sales, the company also announced that it would be "implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for European Union destinations from the USA to its global facilities".

And now, Harley-Davidson - a motorcycle brand that has often aligned itself with the very image of "Americaness" - is a flawless example. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports. He has been riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles, in particular, since October of 1997. "And we're going to support him 100%".

"The company built its reputation and image by making motorcycles here, and if the company wants to continue to market itself as an iconic American brand both at home and overseas, it needs to focus on USA production", he added.

The company said: "Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to US-based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally".

Trump feels betrayed by Harley's decision, believing that the company leveraged his political brand to sell more bikes following a 2017 White House event that featured the president mixing it up with executives and workers, according to one person familiar with the president's thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal private discussions. He could be referring to the tariffs he is attempting to unilaterally impose on foreign imports. Would Cox mind paying more if that means buying American?

"Injecting any kind of uncertainty or instability in the market is not good for our economy and this is evident right here in the Harley Davidson announcement", said Schreiber.

DARWIN HOLMSTROM: I was just to Sweden, and I actually saw quite a few Harleys, relatively speaking.

The company said the EU's tariff increase - to 31%, from the current 6% - would increase the cost of every motorcycle shipped from the USA to Europe by $2,200.

On Monday, the company tried to smooth troubled waters, saying its shift of production overseas would not dent its "strong commitment to US-based manufacturing" which riders around the world valued.

Mr Trump tweeted that Harley-Davidson had already announced it was closing a Kansas City plant and moving those jobs to Thailand. Earlier, we spoke to Joe Capra.

ZARROLI: But he also notes that the company is already slowly moving production overseas to plants in India and Brazil.