Donald Trump rose to presidency in the United States touting himself as a master negotiator. Still today the president often brags about his trade skills on a regular basis, citing his experience as a businessman. One of Trump’s trade plans included leveraging tariffs against the European Union for steel and aluminum products. The European Union responded by placing tariffs on bourbon whiskey, jeans, and motorcycles, as Trump’s approach to trade negotiations quickly turned into what many fear is becoming an international trade war.
Today Trump is fuming over Harley Davidson’s recent decision to move production overseas, according to BBC News. Harley Davidson’s decision to move production overseas is a direct result of President Donald Trump’s approach to trade negotiations, according to Vox, who also placed the burden of the escalating trade war square on the shoulders of Trump.
Trump, however, deflected blame today via a tweet, citing taxes as being nothing more than an excuse on the part of Harley Davidson.
Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
The president’s tweet references statements made by Harley Davidson as to why they planned to move some production in their company to an international location.
“To address the substantial cost of this tariff burden long-term, Harley-Davidson will be implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for EU destinations from the U.S. to its international facilities to avoid the tariff burden.”
Forthcoming layoffs from Harley Davidson are expect. These are not, however, the only layoffs associated with Donald Trump’s EU tariff negotiation strategy. In a piece by the Washington Post, the Mid-Continental nail, one of the country’s largest manufacturers of nails, say they will be laying off approximately 60 employees as a direct result of the EU tariffs set forth by the Trump administration.
These examples of job losses come amid promises from Donald Trump to save American jobs, casting doubt across the country about the effectiveness of Trump’s tariff strategy for trade. While Trump is currently under significant pressure to relent on such imposed tariffs, it’s likely the calls for a reversal will only raise in volume and in number, in the wake of quantifiable job losses linked directly to the president’s trade strategies.
While Trump denies accountability, blaming Harley Davidson for their decision to move production, Reuters tells a different story, expressing a potential loss for the company of approximately $100 million dollars. According to Harley Davidson, Europe accounts for around 16 percent of all motorcycle sales. Since Trump’s trade tariffs took effect in March, the company has reported losses of 9 percent.