His commercial strategy criticized, Trump attacks Harley-Davidson

Donald Trump Tuesday launched new attacks against the legendary brand of motorcycles Harley-Davidson, which announced its intention to relocate part of its production outside the United States and thus cast doubt on the relevance of its protectionist policies.

In a volley of tweets, Donald Trump did not hide his annoyance at the decision of the famous American group based in Milwaukee (Wisconsin) to relocate part of its production abroad to escape the customs tariffs introduced by Brussels in retaliation to those in Washington.

“One Harley-Davidson should never be made in another country-never!”, Thundered the 45th president of the United States. “Their employees and their customers are already very up against them. If they relocate, you will see, it will be the beginning of the end. “

Donald Trump, “America’s first” singer, was initially “surprised” on Monday of the 115-year-old brand’s decision. Then astonishment gave way to anger.

“Companies are coming back to America now. Harley must understand that they will not be able to resell in the United States without paying a big tax, “he wrote on Twitter, threatening Harley-Davidson with retaliation if the automaker wanted to sell motorcycles in the United States. made abroad.

For Donald Trump, Harley-Davidson uses the “trade war” as a “pretext” to relocate “and I do not like it because I was very good with Harley-Davidson,” he told reporters. to the White House.

A famous media builder’s union said last month that at least some of the jobs lost as part of a plant closure in Kansas City, Missouri would be transferred to Thailand, which was denied. by the group. A factory is, however, well under construction in this country of Southeast Asia.

A little more than a year after having received Harley-Davidson leaders at the White House with great fanfare, the break seems to have been consumed.

“Consequences” of its commercial policy

The Harley-Davidson’s decision against the American president’s protectionist impulses seems to undermine Trump’s trade strategy. And the critics are numerous, including in his Republican camp.

“The problem is not that Harley is not patriotic is that customs taxes are stupid,” said the Republican Senator Ben Sasse, for whom these new measures “do not work.”

And Republican House Leader Paul Ryan, elected from Wisconsin – Harley-Davidson Motorbike Community – has come to contradict Donald Trump’s strategy on Tuesday.

“I repeat again, I do not think customs taxes are the way to go. I think that tariffs are simply taxes and what happens in the end is escalating prices, “he criticized.

For the European Union, Harley-Davidson’s decision is not a surprise.

“Of course the consequences are that US companies and consumers – we do not want to punish, but it’s an unfortunate consequence – will react and put pressure on the US administration to say: + hey, wait one minute is not good for the US economy +. And that’s what’s happening, “said Cecilia Malmström, EU Trade Commissioner.

The trade dispute with the European Union was triggered by the imposition of European steel and aluminum taxes in early June. In retaliation, the Europeans decided to tax iconic American products such as jeans, bourbon, peanut butter and the famous Harley-Davidson.

The brand said that European taxes would increase its motorcycles manufactured in the United States of 2200 dollars each on the European market. But after the United States, Europe is Harley-Davidson’s second largest market. Every year, 40,000 motorcycles are sold there.

But Donald Trump intends to persist and attack this time European cars. He hinted on Twitter on Tuesday that a decision was approaching.

He has for several months engaged in several battles on the trade, with the European Union but also its neighbors Canadian and Mexican. He has also attacked China in a dispute over the alleged theft of intellectual property, which worries the markets and could affect global growth.

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