Trump Warns "Beginning Of The End" For Harley: "They Surrendered, They Quit!"

Update: President Trump just turned the rhetoric dial to 11 with a tweet that proclaims "the beginning of the end" for Harley Davidson. As we noted previously the majority of Harley employees back Trump and blame EU and as Trump notes "employees and customers are already very angry with them."

We would expect a response from Harley as this is very much fighting talk from the President.

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President Trump blamed motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson for using trade war as an excuse to move production for European customers abroad.

In an early Tuesday tweet, Trump said that "early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand. That was long before Tariffs were announced. Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse."

As a reminder, on Monday, Harley-Davidson said the 31% tariff the EU imposed on its motorcycles would raise the cost of each bike it ships there by over $2,000. The tariffs from the EU are a response to steel and aluminum tariffs from the Trump administration.

Trump then warned the company that it would pay a big tax to sell back into the US: "when I had Harley-Davidson officials over to the White House, I chided them about tariffs in other countries, like India, being too high. Companies are now coming back to America. Harley must know that they won’t be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax!"

In the same series of Tweets, Trump also said that the US is "getting other countries to reduce and eliminate tariffs and trade barriers that have been unfairly used for years against our farmers, workers and companies. We are opening up closed markets and expanding our footprint. They must play fair or they will pay tariffs!"

Trump then concluded with a tweet on what is a far more sensitive subject: auto tariffs from the EU, saying that a study on EU car tariffs is almost over and that "In the end it will all even out - and it won’t take very long", suggesting the US will indeed impose tariffs on European cars.

....We are finishing our study of Tariffs on cars from the E.U. in that they have long taken advantage of the U.S. in the form of Trade Barriers and Tariffs. In the end it will all even out - and it won’t take very long!

As reported earlier, according to an informal FT poll, Harley workers - even those that could end up as collateral damage - are siding with Trump, and blaming the EU for the company's decision to shift production. What's more, several workers appeared to agree with President Trump's assessment that the company's decision to move production is "just a Harley excuse" after Harley closed its plant in Kansas City. In other words, the company is taking advantage of the EU tariffs, and opportunistically "blaming it on Trump."

Mark, another Harley worker sitting astride his motorbike during the afternoon shift change at this plant that employs about 1,000 workers, said: "I think Harley is just using it as an excuse" to move more production overseas, after a recent decision to close the company’s Kansas City plant. "They will just blame it on Trump."

Asked by the FT whether they blame Trump for Harley's offshoring decision, most workers said they only blamed the EU, and that, regardless of the fallout, it wouldn't change their vote.

Asked whether they blame the president or the EU for causing Harley’s offshoring decision, most say emphatically that they blame only the Europeans. "The president was just trying to save the US aluminum and steel industry," one said approvingly.


Peter Pan GoFuqYourself Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:02 Permalink

Harley died and went to heaven. St Peter was delighted by his arrival and informed Harley that God really wanted to meet him as a great fellow designer.

They finally met and as they were walking along talking about various aspects of design Harley mustered the courage to tell God that " Eve had an inherent design flaw which has never been fixed in all subsequent models."

God looked at him quite puzzled and asked him what that design flaw was. Harley replied, "well the inlet valve and the outlet valve on a woman are too close to each other."

God stared at Harley in amazement and after nodding for a while he put his arm around Harley and replied: "That may be so Harley, but don't forget more men have ridden my model than all your models put together."

In reply to by GoFuqYourself

Last of the Mi… 1 Alabama Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:17 Permalink

A tariff is a  tax. Period. It's a tax paid by the citizens of the imposing country. This is not new, it's not unknown, and it's not something that hasn't happened before and it is completely predictable. I love Trump's actions in so many areas, but tariffs destroy your own economy through taxation of the people buying the product and pass the money along to further enrich and enlarge government. That isn't esoteric economics, it's economic fact and has been know for many many years. 

HD is doing what they have to do to sell bikes overseas. They are adapting to market challenges and Americans will suffer through jobs gone overseas and higher prices at home. Blaming a company for responding to market conditions the government created is insanity. Open up the markets, open up health care, open up competition and close the borders. That is what America needs, not government intervention for the sake of protecting crony capitalism in the upper reaches of the financial world. 

In reply to by 1 Alabama

philipat Last of the Mi… Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:28 Permalink

Most US imports are accounted for by US Corporations manufacturing offshore because of cheap labor. Now looks like even US exports are going to get offshored as well to evade tariffs on imports of raw materials. Nobody forced US Corporations to offshore manufacturing and nobody can force them to bring it back again. GM and now Harley prove the point. But I suppose this will somehow get blamed on China?

In reply to by Last of the Mi…

Freeze These jcaz Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:42 Permalink

Remember when we applied tariffs to anyone and anything with little to no knowledge of economic repricussions and the President said trade wars were easy, and we all just blindly applauded and said things like Maga, winning, America first and then our flagship motorcycle company shipped production overseas?


And then the President DID NOT COMPREHEND that they weren’t moving production over there to turn around and sell the bikes back to the US?


Lol good times - so easy

In reply to by jcaz

beemasters eforce Tue, 06/26/2018 - 08:46 Permalink

There're not that many more made-in-america's now, but those that are left maybe thinking the same move (but perhaps with less publicity). Raw materials will be getting more expensive and there are just not enough consumers to sustain the business in the long run. Plus there are potentially bigger business opportunities outside the already matured US market (those who have seen the outside world will know/understand this). The trade war is just that nail in the coffin. While trade war is easy to implement by the government, the damage will be irreparable.

In reply to by eforce

FireBrander DingleBarryObummer Tue, 06/26/2018 - 09:29 Permalink

The world isn't crying out for $20/30/40k motorcycles...

Harley did a REMARKABLE job capturing a generation and convincing them to pay through the nose strictly for the brand name...hats off to Harley's marketing...but that customer base is getting old and their kids, and grand-kids, are the (financially broken) "video generation" whom are far, far less interested in motorcycles that cost an arm and a leg.

Tough road ahead for Harley and exporting production proves they know hope is fading in the US market...they've got to sell cheap bikes to the masses in places like India and Africa...and they can't do that by building them in the USA.


Just checked Craigslists...there are ~1100 used Harley's for sale within 75 miles. I was out shopping last year...SO MANY ~3 year old bikes sitting in garages with ~1000 miles on them and a dead finally admitting they're not "Harley Riders"...they bought it to "keep up with the Jones's" and now it's time to sell before it depreciates further. There's a CVO with "$42k invested",  ~300 miles on it and the guys asking $35,000...selling because of "health issues"...yeah, that 2 ton cycle probably broke his 50 year old knees!


In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

helltothenah FireBrander Tue, 06/26/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

This is the price we pay for trying to build a time machine. 

Those jobs will never come back unless:

1. Americans are paid slave wages


2.  There are enough enough taxpayer funded kickbacks to the corporations

either way prices go way up and you lose

In reply to by FireBrander

PrayingMantis NidStyles Tue, 06/26/2018 - 10:58 Permalink


    .... “ ... President Trump blamed motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson for using trade war as an excuse to move production for European customers abroad. ... “ ...


    ... here’s a list from the Washington Pest ... “ ... How many Trump products were made overseas? Here’s the complete list. ... “ ...

   ... >>> 

... “ ...  Trump wrote that sending work outside your company “is not always a terrible thing.”    ... “I know that doesn’t make it any easier for people whose jobs have been outsourced overseas, but if a company’s only means of survival is by farming jobs outside its walls, then sometimes it’s a necessary step. The other option might be to close its doors for good,” Trump wrote in the post. ... “ ...


       ... easy for Trump to accuse other companies farming jobs and manufacturing to other countries when his family’s corporations are doing the exact thing ... 


In reply to by NidStyles

Rapunzal PrayingMantis Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:01 Permalink

Those trade wars are pushed by the banksters, Trump down the throat. It looks great for his sheeple and he is doing something. But in reality it will cost the sheeple, higher prices on goods and eventually the economic collapse. Meantime no jobs are created in the US. Only on paper or another statistical lie for the voters. Trump is the fall guy for the NWO.

In reply to by PrayingMantis

1033eruth Rapunzal Tue, 06/26/2018 - 18:17 Permalink

HOLY CHRIST - So Rapunzal aka Repugnant claims that the trade wars are pushed by banksters.  

See the mindless have no shame.  They'll pull some assertion out of there ass and think they're being clever.  Worse five dimwits gave you thumbs up.

Banksters have had DECADES to push trade wars and since the vast majority on ZH think banksters are omnipotent they would have accomplished this a long, LONG time ago.  That means, shit for brains, that the banksters are not behind the trade wars.  Very, VERY simple logic is needed to come to this conclusion.  Just not simple enough for you.

In reply to by Rapunzal

makinbacon Adolfsteinbergovitch Wed, 06/27/2018 - 10:39 Permalink

Wrong....My 2007 Deluxe Soft tail gets 37 mpg in town. 

My mothers Prius gets 43.

Dangerous?....That's up to the driver....Only bike out of 50+ that feels good going slow.

And I have No tattoos.

Your as much a ignorant fuck as the Antifa group that shouted down the Harley CEO on a Trump visit, when you show how little you know about motorcycles or someone's hobbies.

And the rest of you guys down below....38K+ miles on my twin cam motor with nothing but oil changes.

Very smooth motor and best ice breaker I've ever had for a first date.

In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

Retired Guy ArnoldSchwarzenegger Tue, 06/26/2018 - 15:50 Permalink

Sure the Fed sucks but I blame 'free trade' more.

When they passed all these free trade agreements I thought that American labor was over priced in relation to other countries. Free trade made it possible to off shore those jobs. Minimum wage laws make it illegal for American workers to compete. It took a long time to export whole factories but now the tech and worker know how is gone. It would take lots of belt tightening and revised laws to lure all that back. Trump may try but the people won't understand until truly tough times are upon us.

In reply to by ArnoldSchwarzenegger

Bloodstock FireBrander Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:09 Permalink

I think I spent more time last year keeping the rust of my Harley than I did riding it as the chrome is junk. Over rated and over priced is Harley-Davidson. I do believe that the USA bailed them out a few years ago and now they too, move over seas. What goes around comes around HD, you're about to strike out for good. 

In reply to by FireBrander

char_aznable FireBrander Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:37 Permalink

Harleys are such trash, and no, europe doesn't want your stupid tiny-dick:loud-bike stock. Harley-Davidson and its obnoxious and tacky fucking design and the culture Americans have built around that is just mind boggling. It's strong evidence that 9/11 was done by your governors out of pure mockery than anything else.

In reply to by FireBrander

Occams_Razor_Trader FireBrander Tue, 06/26/2018 - 16:00 Permalink

In the aftermath of the housing crash- my brainstorm was to short Harley.

Every joker I know took an equity loan and bought a bike (warm Florida weather). The stock never wavered- low and behold, a few years later we find out from the FED- that their financing arm got a bailout with tarp funds!!

In reply to by FireBrander

edotabin FireBrander Tue, 06/26/2018 - 16:04 Permalink

I have owned a moped 1st and then 3 motorcycles. My second motorcycle was bored out significantly to increase speed and power. Driving at speeds that far exceed the limits of the brakes and tires is not very wise. I needed a long time to stop and/or had to down shift very aggressively as well as very carefully apply the front brake. I also had to watch out for overheating because the piston could seize up and ........ so, yeah not wise unless you really know what you are doing. The third was a Yamaha 125 and the last was a Kawasaki z1000.  They can be fun to drive. I did it, I get it. That being said, I found and find Harleys to be overpriced, LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS. 

People can drive what they like just please shut the fuck up when driving around me and turn down your fucking motorcycle radio  (what a joke) at the traffic lights. Same goes for $1000 cars with $15k stereo systems that shake, rattle and roll their way down the street. 

In reply to by FireBrander

edotabin COSMOS Tue, 06/26/2018 - 16:21 Permalink

I agree with you but China, Russia, Jews, Greeks etc. have had extremely turbulent histories as well. Yes, they are all still around but nationalism is not some magic potion for a peaceful, prosperous life. Extreme nationalism got the Germans into a bit of trouble.

There is always someone that does things better and smarter. It is good to learn, good to trade and good to exchange. Just do it slowly so that things can be digested before the next round and make sure things are balanced


In reply to by COSMOS

Parrotile COSMOS Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:03 Permalink

The way the current "Administration" is managing to alienate friends and foes alike (dictating where and who Sovereigns can buy oil and gas from), your 100 year timescale may be wildly optimistic.

Once the US loses top spot, there are VERY many Countries with very long memories, who will be looking for revenge on the US for sleights, real or imagined.

In reply to by COSMOS

Harry Lightning Brazen Heist II Tue, 06/26/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

Trump proposed that - drop all tariffs - at the recent G7 summit and the Europeans went into convulsive shock.

No, the next move is if the EU adds $2,000 in tariffs to the American vehicles, the US should raise the tariff on EU-made vehicles to $20,000. Remember, the EU has a several hundred billion dollar trade surplus with the US. They lose huge in a trade war, because as trade between US and EU slows, the EU loses its surplus. Just keep putting up the pressure on them and the Germans will force the EU tariffs down because they stand to lose billions if they don't sell their cars in America.

With the increased tariff proceeds, the US then subsidizes the US vehicle producers for every car they sell (so that the tariff proceeds are not used for shareholder distribution but for the benefit of American vehicle buyers).

In reply to by Brazen Heist II