Trump threatens Harley-Davidson with taxes ‘like never before’ as production shifts overseas

President Donald Trump threatened Harley-Davidson with severe taxes on Tuesday, as the Wisconsin-based motorcycle company announced it would move some production overseas to avoid tariffs that the European Union imposed in response to Trump's trade measures.

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Trump accused Harley-Davidson of surrendering a “white flag” in the trade war, and said the iconic American motorcycle company would lose its “aura” if bikes were produced overseas.

"If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end -- they surrendered, they quit!" he wrote. "The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!"

Harley-Davidson announced the move to shift some production overseas after Trump imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. The European Union responded with a 31 percent tariff on exported bikes --costing the company roughly $100 million per year, or $2,200 per motorcycle, The Washington Post reports.

The EU tariffs target iconic U.S. products, including blue jeans and bourbon, in retaliation against new U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Harley-Davidson has not announced where it will build its bikes for the European market, or how many U.S. jobs might be lost as a result, the New York Times reports.

The company itself warned on Monday that tariffs could end up hurting U.S. jobs, and moving production overseas was "the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the EU and maintain a viable business in Europe."

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