Harley, stung by tariffs, shifts some production overseas

27 Junio, 2018, 00:51 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Outside the US Harley Davidson has manufacturing facilities in India Brazil and Australia

Trump tweeted "Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand". And numerous countries are now moving forward with retaliatory tariffs against the USA, such as the ones European leaders have leveled at Harley Davidson, to try and exert political pressure on Trump to back down. "They must play fair or they will pay tariffs!" Taxes just a Harley excuse - be patient!

President Trump recently scolded Harley-Davidson on Twitter after the company announced it would be moving one it's plants overseas.

The administration's move to impose the tariffs came after a nine-month investigation, led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, which found the current level of aluminum and steel imports to the US had the "potential to threaten our national security". Because of this, it is unclear what Trump was referring to when he mentioned Harley-Davidson not being "able to sell back into USA without paying a big tax". He was referring to tariffs Harley-Davidson would face on motorcycles produced overseas and shipped back to the USA for sale.

"Harley-Davidson is using that as an excuse and I don't like that because I've been very good to Harley-Davidson and they used it as an excuse", he said in response.

House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Trump administration trade policy after Harley-Davidson's announcement.

"We don't want to punish, but that is the unfortunate effect, that (US companies) will put pressure on the American administration to say hey, hold on a minute, this is not good for the American economy", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at a news briefing.

For the US, Harley-Davidson production isn't changing: the motorcycles sold in the country will still be made here. Case in point, Harley Davidson.

The company sold almost 40,000 motorcycles in the Europe Union a year ago, with sales second only to those in the U.S. Daimler last week said the tariff escalation will crimp its earnings. It will instead absorb a significant amount of the cost in the near term. It anticipates the cost for the rest of the year to be approximately $30 million to $45 million.

"I do believe that the United States has been taken advantage of for a multitude of years", said Al Choiniere, the chief operating officer at Superion Inc.

The company is already struggling with falling sales.

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In January, the company announced the closure of a plant in Kansas City, Missouri, after its motorcycle shipments fell to their lowest level in six years. US motorcycle sales peaked at more than 1.1 million in 2005 but then plummeted during the recession. It wasn't immediately known whether any other facilities would be consolidated.

Workers unpack new motorcycles arriving at a Harley-Davidson showroom in Bangkok on May 15.

Harley has been aiming to boost overseas sales of its motorcycles to 50 percent of annual volume from about 43 percent.

"We want Harleys made here, more made here, and that's going to happen under the president's trade policies". On Friday, it began new tariffs on around $3.4bn worth of U.S. products being brought into the EU.

"That was long before Tariffs were announced", he said in a separate tweet.

"More firms will follow Harley's lead and move production overseas", says Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economist who studies trade. "Can't blame them. Many companies are being put in very hard positions". The EU's tariffs on motorcycles were put in place as a response to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

Brown-Forman (BFB), which also produces Woodford Reserve and other bourbons, will have to raise prices for its whiskey sold in the European Union following the implementation of a 25% tariff, according to spokesman Phil Lynch.

Wisconsin's elected leaders said the decision pointed to the need to expand markets.

"I don't know all the details but from what I saw was it would be a $2,200 increase on the final price per bike with these tariffs", Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Republican of IL, told CNN in a separate interview. They would also get a huge break on tariffs when exported to Thailand's neighbours, thanks to a trade deal among the 10 Asean members.


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