Motorcycle maker, Harley-Davidson, is trying to do what is best for the company, but many Americans are outraged.
The company had announced plans to move some of its production overseas after the European Union had imposed tariffs on imported U.S. bikes as a retaliation against President Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminum.
Many Americans talked about boycotting the company to which President Trump offered at one point his support. He tweeted, “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.”
The President has said that his administration is “working with other Motor Cycle companies who want to move into the U.S.”
Harley-Davidson has said that it could lose much as $100 million a year and has said it would shift some of its production abroad so that it could avoid the added tariffs on motorcycles sold in the EU.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer remarked, “I feel bad for Harley-Davidson, because they are not getting a break.”
He added, “I don’t think people realize the kinds of tariff pressures they [foreign countries] put on our companies that try to sell heavy equipment and anything over there. The tariffs are insane. I wish the president would use an example that this [trade war] is forced by our so called allies.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has told FOX Business that he is not in favor of President Trump’s support for a boycott.
“I want Harley-Davidson to succeed. I’m a Harley rider myself,” the Republican Governor remarked on “Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast Opens a New Window.” He added, “I don’t want a boycott.”
Walker said he will take his Harley for Harley-Davidson’s 115th anniversary on Labor Day weekend.
“I will be out there for the 115th anniversary,” Walker said. “I have a 100th anniversary [Harley-Davidson] Road King myself.”
So far no backlash has happened at two Harley-Davidson dealerships in the Pittsburgh area, owner George Gatto told CNBC recently.
“We’ve seen nothing at all. Zero,” he said on “Power Lunch.”
“Harley-Davidson is unlike any other brand. It’s a family,” he explained.
Harley-Davidson is Harley-Davidson. It is one of the most recognized brands in the world. The other brands … there’s very little brand loyalty. Harley-Davidson people, they wear it on their arms, they wear it on their chest, they wear it on their clothing,” continued Gatto.
Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich addressed the issue in a memo to employees and dealers and said, “There continues to be misinformation circulated in conjunction with this issue. For one, motorcycles for the U.S. and most international markets “will continue to be made in the United States.”
“I get that he [Trump] wants to see these tariffs reduced,” said Gatto. “I also see Harley-Davidson’s point where they are going to face $9 million a month in tariffs. I can think of alot more important things to do with $9 million than send to some foreign government.”