Harley Davidson 'waving the white flag', tweets Trump

Harley-Davidson to shift some production out of US over EU tariffs

Its shares have lost about 9 percent since early March when the trade skirmish between the United States and the European Union started, and are down over 18 percent since end-December 2017.

The company also warned of a potential "significant impact" from retaliatory tariffs after President Donald Trump announced the steel and aluminum tariffs.

That will make each bike about $2,200 more expensive to export, Harley said.

US President Donald Trump on Monday slammed Harley-Davidson Inc after the motorcycle maker said it would move production for European customers overseas to avoid retaliatory tariffs that could cost it up to US$100 million (S$136.2 million) per year. Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to USA -based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally.

In late April, Harley said Trump's metal tariffs would inflate its costs by an additional $15 million to $20 million this year on top of already rising raw material prices that it expected at the start of the year. While the company said it's committed to making motorcycles in the US, it suggested it has no other choice but to move production from its home market. Harley reports it will share more information on this shift in its second-quarter conference call set for 8 a.m. July 24. It was also plants in Pennsylvania and Missouri, along with facilities in Brazil, India and Australia.

Bikes destined for the European Union were made less viable by levies that'll boost costs for the company by about US$100 million (NZ$145 million) a year.

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Harley-Davidson claimed Monday that the EU's action increased the tariffs on its motorcycles "from six percent to 31 percent".

The EU imposed retaliatory tariffs last week on $3.4 billion worth of US products like bourbon, motorcycles and orange juice.The new duties are in direct response to President Trump's decision to increase fees on aluminium and steel coming from Europe. He said they showed the need to modernize the World Trade Organization.

"We are now assessing the potential impact on our United States facilities", said Harley-Davidson spokesman Michael Pflughoeft.

"President Trump will continue to push for free, fair and reciprocal trade, in hopes that the European Union will join us", Ms Sanders said.

Harley-Davidson did not immediately return a request for comment.

Trump's global trade war has escalated with various US allies in recent weeks.

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"Harley-Davidson's announcement today is the latest slap in the face to the loyal, highly-skilled workforce that made Harley an iconic American brand", Robert Martinez, global president of the worldwide Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents Harley employees in three USA plants, said in a statement.

"We can not speculate about how this morning's announcement will impact employment in the U.S. Domestic sales are what drive production and employment at Harley's U.S. facilities". That will make each bike about $2,200 more expensive to export, Harley-Davidson said. To avoid this cost, the country will shift to countries where there are lower or no tariffs.

Harley's stock fell as much as 7% during trading Monday.

"We are extremely anxious about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan", Ryan's spokeswoman, AshLee Strong has previously revealed.

The EU said Friday that it would counter the tariffs with penalties of their own on $3.2 billion of American-made goods.

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