The EU tariffs on $3.4 billion worth of us products are retaliation for duties the Trump administration is imposing on European steel and aluminum. 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 global trade war. Now, lawmakers are weighing in. Harleys were among the select USA exports the European Union chose to slap tariffs on earlier this month, after the Trump administration implemented tariffs on aluminum and steel.
"The ultimate goal, if we could get there, is no tariffs or if anything few tariffs on anything", said Walker, a Republican.
Harley-Davidson has been relying on Europe and other worldwide markets to help offset declining sales in the United States, where the baby boomers who have long bought the vehicles are aging and younger consumers are not taking to the motorcycles in a big way.
It reassured customers it would not raise prices in the short term as a result of the new tariffs.
Executives in Harley-Davidson were among the first to visit the White House in February 2017 shortly after Trump took office.
The move, the US President argued, was to protect American businesses, though many experts thought differently.
Harley shares plunged as much as 7 percent and analysts cut their profit forecasts on concerns about how quickly the company would be able to adapt to the 25 percent import duties the European Union began charging on June 22. It's likely that one or more of these plants will take on the production that leaves the US. That decision, of course, was made after Trump chose to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade treaty that Harley had said it supported. "Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson", the company said. The president hailed the company as a model of American manufacturing, an industry he promised to restore.
The problem with his criticism was that it didn't add up - and that U.S.jobs may now be moving to India and other parts of the world because of the trade disputes he has unleashed himself. He further praised the executives "for building things in America" and predicted the company would expand its operations during his administration. Not all barriers to trade originated with the current administration.
The iconic brand said the move was prompted by the financial burden of tariffs levied against U.S. products.
The company has assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand as well as in the US. The EU says about $3.4 billion worth of USA products are affected.
Amid the early fallout of the mounting trade war, Trump took to Twitter, saying he was "surprised" about Harley Davidson's move and assuring the company it would not "ultimately" pay European Union tariffs, without clarifying how that would happen. It is still unclear whether jobs in Milwaukee will be impacted.
The motorcycle manufacturer, founded in 1903, has factories in Kansas City, Missouri; York, Pennsylvania; Menomonee Falls and Tomahawk in Wisconsin.
Walker says increasing foreign investment will help with the trade imbalance and therefore lead to a reduction in tariffs. "That's what I'm going to push for, ways that we can get to a level playing field then we don't have this tit for tat on any number of products out there".
According to the company, the EU's new tariffs will increase the cost of a motorcycle shipped from the USA to Europe by $2,200.