The president tweeted that “Harley-Davidson should stay 100 per cent in America,” despite the fact that it already has some production outside of the United States.
“I’ve done so much for you, and then this,” Mr Trump said. “Other companies are coming back where they belong! We won’t forget, and neither will your customers or your now very HAPPY competitors!”
The American brand, synonymous with American motorcycle culture, was founded in 1903 in Wisconsin. It opened its first overseas factory in Manaus, Brazil, in 1998, taking advantage of the free economic zone in the state of Amazonas.
The Milwaukee-based company has said that it came to its decision due to Mr Trump’s aggressive trade policy, namely the retaliatory tariffs it faces in the escalating trade dispute between the US and the European Union.
According to a report in the Washington Post, Mr Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs will cost Harley-Davidson $20m, while retaliatory tariffs could cost an additional $45m.
Mr Trump lashed out at a company he at one time embraced. He invited the company’s CEO, Matt Levatich, to the White House in 2017 and praised the firm as a “true American icon, one of the greats”.
He has now accused the company of using tariffs as an excuse to take away US jobs and that the bikes should “never be built in another country-never!”
“If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end -- they surrendered, they quit!” Mr Trump wrote. “The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!”