Trump threatens trade war as motorcycle producer Harley-Davidson hit by EU tariffs
US President Donald Trump has hit out at “unfair” EU tariffs against American motorbike producer Harley-Davidson amid trade tensions.
Speaking on Twitter, the President cited figures showing that tariffs on the bikes will rise to 66 per cent in June 2021.
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“So unfair to the US,” he said, “we will reciprocate!”
It came as the motorcycle maker this morning posed results for the first quarter of the year, showing profit down 26.7 per cent year-on-year.
The firm said that it had been impacted by a decline in US sales and increased costs in Europe because of tariffs.
Earnings per share fell to $0.80, it said, from $1.03 in the same period last year. Worldwide sales fell 3.8 per cent in the first quarter, with the US, down 4.2 per cent, hitting particularly hard.
First quarter net profit hit $127.9m on a consolidated revenue of $1.38bn. Last year the numbers were $174.8m and $1.54bn respectively.
Around a year ago Trump struck a different note, coming down heavily on the motorcycle producer for moving production out of the US.
The firm has invested heavily in Thailand as a base to supply its growing European market.
In June Trump said the firm would face a backlash if it moved production for EU customers overseas.
“A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country – never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them,” Trump tweeted. “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!”
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The EU initially singled out Harley-Davidson last year in response to President Trump's tariffs on European steel and aluminium.
Shares in Harley-Davidson have fallen around three per cent this morning.