Trump backs boy­cott of Harley-Davidson in steel tar­iff dis­pute

The Globe and Mail (Ottawa/Quebec Edition) - - SPORTS - GIN­GER GIB­SON WASH­ING­TON

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump backed boy­cotting Amer­i­can mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­turer Harley-Davidson Inc. on Sun­day, the lat­est salvo in a dis­pute be­tween the com­pany and Mr. Trump over tar­iffs on steel.

The Wis­con­sin-based mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­turer an­nounced a plan ear­lier this year to move pro­duc­tion of mo­tor­cy­cles for the Euro­pean Union from the United States to its over­seas fa­cil­i­ties to avoid the tar­iffs im­posed by the trad­ing bloc in re­tal­i­a­tion for Mr. Trump’s du­ties on steel and alu­minum im­ports.

In re­sponse, Mr. Trump has crit­i­cized Harley-Davidson, call­ing for higher, tar­geted taxes and threat­en­ing to lure for­eign pro­duc­ers to the United States to in­crease com­pe­ti­tion.

“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,” Mr. Trump said in a Twit­ter post.

Harley-Davidson has re­peat­edly de­clined to com­ment on Mr. Trump’s re­marks over the course of the dis­pute. The com­pany could not be im­me­di­ately reached for com­ment on Sun­day.

Harley has fore­cast that the EU tar­iffs would cost the com­pany about US$30-million to US$45-million for the re­main­der of 2018 and US$90-million to US$100-million on a full-year ba­sis.

Mr. Trump met Satur­day with a group of bik­ers who sup­port him, pos­ing for pic­tures with about 180 bik­ers at his golf re­sort in Bed­min­ster, N.J., where he is on va­ca­tion.

Mo­tor­cy­cle com­pa­nies based out­side the United States in­clude Ja­pan’s Honda Mo­tor Co. Ltd. and Yamaha Corp., Europe’s BMW and Du­cati as well as In­dia’s Hero Mo­toCorp Ltd. and Ba­jaj Auto Ltd. among oth­ers.

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