Trump threatens to tax Harley ‘like never before’ over production shifts

Shares of iconic American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson closed in the red on Tuesday as President Trump slammed the company’s decision to shift production out of the U.S. and threatened to tax them “like never before.”

In a series of tweets, Trump said a Harley-Davidson motorcycle “should never be built in another country” and if they follow through on the move, it “will be the beginning of the end.”

The president also claimed the company announced plans earlier this year to move production to Thailand and was using the tariffs as an excuse to justify the decision.

The Twitter tirade irked investors, causing shares of the motorcycle maker to move lower again during Tuesday’s session – after falling as much as 7% on Monday.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
HOG HARLEY-DAVIDSON INC. 35.19 +0.81 +2.36%

The Milwaukee-based manufacturer on Monday said it would be significantly impacted by the European Union’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including Harley bikes. To alleviate some of that financial burden, the company announced plans to shift production overseas to existing plants in Thailand, India and Brazil.

However, Harley said it was only moving production out of the U.S. to build motorcycles that will be sold in Europe. The company also said it is not building a new plant in Europe. Trump warned that the company would not be able to sell foreign-made motorcycles in the U.S. “without paying a big tax.”

Harley-Davidson said tariffs on motorcycle exports have increased by 31%, hiking prices by about $2,200, on average, per motorcycle. It expects the tariffs to add an additional $100 million in costs on a full-year basis.

In 2017, Harley-Davidson’s retail sales in Europe were second only to the United States, and accounted for nearly 42% of the company’s international sales. In the first quarter of 2018, Harley-Davidson cited Europe as an area where it experienced “strong results.”