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Trump: Harley-Davidson boycott would be 'great'

By
Ray Downs
American-made Harley-Davidson motorcycles are parked outside a Harley showroom in Beijing, China, on June 27. President Donald Trump tweeted support for a potential boycott against the company Sunday, over new EU tariffs. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
American-made Harley-Davidson motorcycles are parked outside a Harley showroom in Beijing, China, on June 27. President Donald Trump tweeted support for a potential boycott against the company Sunday, over new EU tariffs. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 12 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Sunday encouraged a boycott of Harley-Davidson after the company announced it would move some of its motorcycle manufacturing to Europe, a response to the administration's tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.

Trump's comments came one day after he visited a "Bikers for Trump" rally in Bedminster, N.J., where many appeared to endorse the president's recent criticism of Harley-Davidson. That rally occurred on the same day The New York Times published a story about a biker rally in Sturgis, S.D., where many in attendance expressed dismay at Harley-Davidson's decision to move some manufacturing to Europe.

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"Many [Harley] owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great!" Trump tweeted. "Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better."

The spat between Trump and Harley-Davidson began in June, when the company announced it would move production for foreign sales to Europe to avoid European Union tariffs on steel and aluminum -- which were imposed as retaliation for the U.S. penalties.

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The company's decision angered Trump, who had previously held them up as a prime example of a U.S. company that kept manufacturing in the United States and created jobs for Americans.

"A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!" Trump tweeted in June. "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!"

Manufacturing for Harley-Davidson motorcycles for U.S. customers is expected to remain in the United States.

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