Harley-Davidson Responds to European Union Threat Involving Tariffs on Harley Bikes

Harley-Davidson Inc. released a statement as a response to the European Union’s threat to impose tariffs on bikes made by Harley, saying that this could have a huge impact on sales.

Harley-Davidson bikes and Levi Strauss jeans were identified as main targets for countermeasures the EU has been preparing in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s recent plan to place tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.

Trump announced impose of 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum imports. This move was more than welcomed by the U.S. steel industry, but companies and manufacturers that have high metal content will be hurt by this decision.

Approximately 16% of Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales are to Europe. The company already has significant sales decline – which has been going on for several years in a row now, and a move like this might impact the company even more, and not in a good way.

This means Harleys-Davidson motorcycles could cost even more than they do now. Furthermore, the countermeasures announced by the European Union will mean even fewer sales in Europe.

In the statement, Harley-Davidson spokesman says:

“Import tariffs on steel and aluminum will drive up costs for all products made with these raw materials, regardless of their origin. Additionally, a punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any market would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, their suppliers and our customers in those markets.”

This isn’t the first time the Milwaukee company has faced tariffs in trade disputes. The EU already threatened tariffs on Harley’s bikes in 2003 when then-President Bush sought taxes on imported steel.

The company said it expects to ship between 231,000 and 236,000 motorcycles to dealerships this year after shipping 241,498 in 2017, the lowest in six years.


Source: Journal Sentinel