(UPI) — President Donald Trump on Sunday encouraged a boycott of Harley-Davidson after the company announced it would move some of its motorcycle manufacturing to Europe, a response to the administration’s tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.
Trump’s comments came one day after he visited a “Bikers for Trump” rally in Bedminster, N.J., where many appeared to endorse the president’s recent criticism of Harley-Davidson. That rally occurred on the same day The New York Times published a story about a biker rally in Sturgis, S.D., where many in attendance expressed dismay at Harley-Davidson’s decision to move some manufacturing to Europe.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2018
The spat between Trump and Harley-Davidson began in June, when the company announced it would move production for foreign sales to Europe to avoid European Union tariffs on steel and aluminum — which were imposed as retaliation for the U.S. penalties.
The company’s decision angered Trump, who had previously held them up as a prime example of a U.S. company that kept manufacturing in the United States and created jobs for Americans.
“A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!” Trump tweeted in June. “Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. 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!”
Manufacturing for Harley-Davidson motorcycles for U.S. customers is expected to remain in the United States.
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