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Trump says Harley-Davidson using trade tensions 'as an excuse'

Donald Trump said Tuesday that Harley-Davidson will be “taxed like never before” and that the U.S. motorcycle company was using increased trade tensions as an excuse to justify planned shifts in production overseas.

“A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!” Trump said in a tweet.

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

Harley did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

On Monday, Harley said it was moving some production overseas due to increased costs from the EU’s retaliatory tariffs against the Trump administration’s duties on steel and aluminum from the bloc. No production will be moving to Europe as a result of the tariffs, according to the company. Harley’s overseas manufacturing plants are located in countries such as Brazil, India, Australia and Thailand.

Shares fell 1 percent in premarket trading Tuesday after falling nearly 6 percent Monday.

Trump said Monday in a tweet he was “surprised” by Harley’s decision. He publicly thanked Harley-Davidson early last year for “building things in America” and criticized other companies for moving production outside the U.S.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and the rest of the world have increased in the last several months.

“Harley must know that they won’t be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax!” Trump said in another tweet Tuesday.

CNBC’s
Morgan Brennan
contributed to this report.

source : www.cnbc.com