The attacks came after Harley-Davidson announced that it would shift some production out of the U.S. due to Trump's trade battles.
Harley-Davidson said Monday it was moving production of motorcycles sold in Europe from USA factories to facilities overseas because of retaliatory tariffs it faces in an escalating trade dispute between involving Trump's administration and the European Union.
"Harley-Davidson believes the tremendous cost increase, if passed on to its dealers and retail customers, would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region, reducing customer access to Harley-Davidson products and negatively impacting the sustainability of its dealers' businesses", the company said in a public filing.
Trump enjoyed the support of a group called "Bikers for Trump" in his 2016 presidential campaign and he invited Harley-Davidson representatives to the White House in February 2017 shortly after he took office, greeting them with the words "Made in America, Harley-Davidson". He added: "The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!" President Trump has time and again pointed out to the iconic American motorcycle brand, as he pursues a protectionist trade policy, but instead Harley-Davidson seems to be facing the heat, following the retaliatory tariff hikes in the European Union and announced even in India.
The quote, which disparaged Trump's understanding of trade and economics, was being spread by some accounts with very few followers, but quickly went viral. The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, has been flooded by online criticism from backers of Trump who are angry that its owner refused service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, last weekend. The E.U., Mexico and Canada were initially excluded from the tariffs when Trump announced them in March, but that expired on June 1.
Trump's current attacks came after Harley announced on Monday that the company would shift some of its production outside of the United States due to Trump's trade battles and the European Union's retaliatory tariffs against the US.
"What I would like to do and what I offered at the G7, you remember, I said let's drop all tariffs and all barriers", he said. But Trump says that's an excuse and threatened the company with a "big tax" if they move their plant. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", he said.
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Trump says in tweets Tuesday that the company had already announced it was closing a Kansas City plant.
Harley-Davidson, as we know, now builds bikes in Australia, Brazil, India, and Thailand.
Trump continued his tweetstorm by saying "A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country - never!"
"A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!" he said earlier on Twitter.
"Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson", the company said, adding that it sold almost 40,000 motorcycles there in 2017.
"It's unfortunate that such a strong Wisconsin company like Harley-Davidson has to bear the brunt of this trade dispute", Sensenbrenner said.