President Trump continued his criticism of motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson with a message in Wisconsin: “Don’t get cute with us.”
The president’s comments, which were made at a groundbreaking of a $10 billion Foxconn factory in Wisconsin on Thursday, were the latest attacks against Harley-Davidson.
The company has become a target for Trump since they announced they would move some of its manufacturing to Thailand to avoid European tariffs amid Trump’s trade war.
CNN reports that Harley-Davidson could lose $100 million per year, as well as a credit downgrade.
The European tariffs affecting the motorcycle manufacturer is a response to the Trump administrations levy on steel and aluminum coming from Europe.
At Wisconsin, Trump pleaded with the company he described as “a true American Icon” earlier this year.
“Harley Davidson, please build those beautiful motorcycles in the USA, please, OK? Don’t get cute with us. Don’t get cute. They don’t realize their taxes are coming way down, they don’t realize that yet. Build them in the USA, your customers won’t be happy if you don’t.”
During the groundbreaking event for the Foxconn factory, Trump announced that it will create 3,000 jobs and potentially 13,000. CNN says that Foxconn will get over $4 billion from Wisconsin, Racine County and Mount Pleasant in tax breaks, incentives, and taxpayer money.
The move has been criticized as corporate welfare that Wisconsin can’t afford. It is estimated that it will the state at least 25 years to recoup the tax revenue spent on the project. It is estimated that $370,000 per job is being spent by the state if all the 13,000 jobs promised are fulfilled
It is unclear whether the locals will have the skills required to fill the 13,000 jobs and critics of the deal also point to the state’s record low unemployment rate that stands at 2.8 percent, arguing the deal was unnecessary.
Pres. Trump: "Harley Davidson, please build those beautiful motorcycles in the U.S.A., please, OK? Don't get cute with us, don't get cute…your customers won't be happy if you don't" https://t.co/jGDQxZtws1 pic.twitter.com/GfrpdxQXkR
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 29, 2018
Republican Wisconsin state Rep. Scott Allen spoke to CNN about Harley-Davidson and the Foxconn factory.
“Harley Davidson’s sort of old technology; this is new technology. What this (groundbreaking) represents is a repositioning of the global marketplace. And I think Harley has to do what they have to do but they’ll find that this is a competitive place to be, and this is just proof of it.”
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 29, 2018
Trump attacked the Harley-Davidson CEO on Twitter and even suggested that it is the “beginning of the end” for the iconic motorcycle company.
The company has stayed relatively quiet since Trump’s criticism. Harley-Davidson CEO Levatich denied a fake quote circulating on social media, which says he called the President a “moron,” calling it “shameful.”