After Harley-Davidson announced that, to avoid the retaliatory tariffs the European Union slapped on American-made motorcycles, it would be moving some production overseas, Donald Trump predictably turned against the company. Harley had been a Trump favorite, but no more! In a series of tweets starting Monday afternoon and ending early Tuesday morning, Trump attacked the company and defended his trade policies.
“Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag,” he tweeted. “Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient!” The company was already moving some operations overseas, he continued almost 12 hours later. “Shows how unbalanced & unfair trade is, but we will fix it…..”
How will he fix it? “They must play fair or they will pay tariffs!” Except that’s not how it works. “They” as in the other countries don’t pay tariffs. U.S. consumers pay tariffs on imported goods to make imports more expensive relative to U.S.-made products. But Trump really really doesn’t want that to be part of the story—he repeated the claim that someone other than U.S. consumers will pay tariffs. “Harley must know that they won’t be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax!”
But mostly, boy, Trump’s just mad at Harley-Davidson. “If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!” Heaven knows Trump can’t be mad at himself.