Trump vows to hit back at European Union as tariffs bite Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson motorcycle

Mr Trump wrote: "Harley Davidson has struggled with Tariffs with the European Union, now paying 31 percent".

"So unfair to the United States", he said, "we will reciprocate!"

Harley-Davidson has released its first-quarter results of 2019, and worldwide sales of motorcycles seem to have taken a hit, with the Bar & Shield brand reporting a 3.8 per cent decrease in global sales.

The logo of USA motorcycle company Harley-Davidson is seen on one of their models at a shop in Paris, France, August 16, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence stands next to Harley Davidson motorcycles after meeting with Harley Davidson executives at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington U.S., on February 2, 2017.

Speaking on Twitter, the President cited figures showing that tariffs on the bikes will rise to 66 per cent in June 2021.

The president initially reacted with surprise previous year to the news that Harley planned to shift some US production overseas in a bid to avoid European Union duties. The company said in a regulatory filing past year that it doesn't plan to increase prices as it adjusts to the tariffs.

Analysts said it did not change an overall hard picture for Harley, as the company has struggled over the past decade to attract younger customers following its success in the 1960s and 70s.

Harley said retaliatory import duties, mainly comprising those imposed by European Union, will cost the company between $100 million and $120 million in 2019.

The Thailand operation is part of Harley's "tariff mitigation" strategy that is also aimed at the growing Southeast Asian market, the company said.

Overall sales continued to fall.

In midday trading, Harley-Davidson Inc. shares edged up 36 cents to $40.08.

The company on Tuesday reported quarterly profit that surged past expectations and stuck to its full-year shipment forecasts amid concerns over falling US sales and European import tariffs, sending its shares up 3 percent. European sales were down 2.1 percent. However, the adjusted earnings of 98 cents per share exceeded analysts' expectations of 65 cents per share.

The company's first quarter net income was reported as $ 127.9 million, down from $ 174.8 million in the same period of 2018, while the consolidated revenue was $ 1.38 billion in the first quarter of this year, compared to $ 1.54 billion in the first quarter of 2018.



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