Motorcycle body warns of job losses and economic hit from escalation of US-EU row over steel and aluminium tariffs

Rebecca Smith
One of ACEM's member companies is Harley Davidson
One of ACEM's member companies is Harley Davidson (Source: Getty)

The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) has today sounded a warning over a potential deterioration in US-EU trade relations, saying it is "deeply concerned" at recent statements made by both parties.

The ACEM said while it appreciated the reasons behind a potential retaliation by the EU if the US increases tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, the motorcycle industry would be "severely damaged" if brought into the trade dispute.

Read more: Peanut butter, orange juice, bourbon, steel: EU hits back over US tariffs

Earlier this week, the EU warned of impending retaliatory measures off the back of President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. The order will impose global tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.

Trump had said that the US was "on the losing side of almost all trade deals" and it was time for a change.

After hearing one of its member firms, Harley-Davidson, had been mentioned among possible targets for retaliation, the ACEM wrote to EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström saying a potential increase of customs duties on American exports of motorcycles would be damaging not just to the American firms, but also to European economies and jobs.

Read more: Hit the Chevy with the levy, tax your whiskey & rye

It also said this could then lead to the US administration imposing retaliatory tariffs on European exports, hitting the motorcycle in the US and Europe with job losses.

Stefan Pierer, chief executive of KTM and President of ACEM, said:

Motorcycle companies are global players committed to free and balanced trade agreements. The US and the EU should be working together to facilitate international trade and regulatory convergence, not to restrict it by adopting unilateral and politically motivated measures.

The ACEM, which has 17 manufacturing firms as members as well as 17 national industry associations, says around 156,000 jobs depend on the motorcycle, moped, tricycle and quadricycle industry in the EU.

As well as Harley-Davidson, ACEM members include BMW Motorrad, Honda, Renault, Suzuki and Yamaha.

Read more: Free trade advocate Gary Cohn has exited the White House

Related articles