Trump supports boycott of Harley-Davidson as tariff tensions weigh

President Donald Trump said on Sunday he supported boycotts of American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson on Sunday, after the company and Trump disagreed on certain tariffs imposed by the administration.

“Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great! Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post.

The company, which is already affected by the administration’s 25% tax on steel and aluminum exported from the European Union, announced in June it would move production of bikes sold in Europe out of the U.S. as a result of the retaliatory steel tariffs imposed by the world’s largest trade bloc.

Following the latest round of tariffs, the new duties on motorcycles imported to the EU increased to 31% from just 6%. Harley-Davidson said the tariffs would add about $2,200 to the cost of the average bike built in the U.S. and exported to the trading bloc.

The iconic Wisconsin-based company announced late last month a new global growth plan aimed at revamping its U.S. business and expanding internationally. The company plans to invest up to $825 million as part of its “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” strategy, which it said could generate more than $1 billion in annual revenue in 2022 compared to 2017.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
HOG HARLEY-DAVIDSON INC. 35.91 -0.26 -0.72%

Harley also plans on introducing a modular 500cc to 1250cc middleweight platform of motorcycles starting in 2020, while also improving its Touring and Cruiser bikes. The company is developing a smaller displacement 250cc to 500cc motorcycle for emerging markets in Asia through a partnership with a manufacturer in the region, and will launch its first electric bike in 2019 with more models to follow through 2022, it said.

MY18 Key Features. FLHXS. (Harley-Davidson)

“We expect this plan will result in an engaged, expanded Harley-Davidson community with a more diverse rider base, along with industry-leading margins and cash flow,” Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said in a statement in June.