Harley-Davidson has finally issued a statement in the ongoing trade war sparked by President Donald Trump’s dubious claims that America is disadvantaged by import duties.
It started when Trump complained about India’s import duties affecting Harley and escalated when Trump threatened to raise import duties on steel and aluminium, prompting threats of retaliatory 25% duty levies in Europe.
Harley is caught in the crossfire and says it would be disadvantaged twice. Riders and Harley fans will also be disadvantaged.
“Import tariffs on steel and aluminium will drive up costs for all products made with these raw materials, regardless of their origin,” the Harley statement says.
“Additionally, a punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any market would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, their suppliers and our customers in those markets.”
Trade war impact
Harley is no doubt concerned about the impact on sales in Europe which represents more than 16% of their worldwide market.
The last thing the company needs is a trade war that hits it from both sides on the price of raw materials and its finished product.
Riders will be the ultimate victim of such a trade war.
Interestingly, 33 years ago President Ronald Reagan hiked import tariffs on Japanese motorcycles to help Harley over tough times. Harley was able to return to profit and request the tariff protection be ended early.
How Trump is wrong
Trump is basing his tariff fight on incorrect information and unsound economic principles.