Harley-Davidson’s decision to shift a portion of its motorcycle production overseas in an effort to avoid new tariffs imposed by the European Union came as a surprise to President Donald Trump, according to a Monday afternoon tweet from his personal account.
“Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag,” Trump wrote. “I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse - be patient! #MAGA”
The president has previously lauded the iconic American motorcycle manufacturer for "building things in America." He has also repeatedly criticized other manufacturers for moving production outside of the U.S.
But Harley's announcement came as an unintended consequence of the Trump administration's efforts to protect American jobs by levying tariffs, including duties on imports of European steel and aluminum.
In retaliation, the EU imposed tariffs on more than $3 billion of U.S. goods, including motorcycles, Levi’s jeans and Kentucky bourbon.