Despite What Trump Said Harley-Davidson Goes Overseas

Harley-Davidson moves some of its production out of the US.

Harley-Davidson Inc says move US production of motorcycles for European Union customers overseas to avoid retaliatory tariffs that could cost the company up to $US100 million ($A135 million) per year.

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.

US President Donald Trump had held up Harley as an example of a manufacturer that would benefit from his policies. But the proposed production shift appeared to mark an unintended consequence of US tariffs imposed on European steel and aluminium earlier this month.

In a regulatory filing, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company said the retaliatory duties would result in an incremental cost of about $US2,200 ($A2,967) per average motorcycle exported from the United States to the European Union, but did not provide more details on current motorcycle costs.

Trump vowed to make the iconic motorcycle maker great again when he took office last year. But since then the company has been counting the costs of his trade policies.

In late April, Harley said Trump's metal tariffs would inflate its costs by $US15 million ($A20 million) to $US20 million ($A27 million) this year on top of already rising raw material prices that it expected at the start of the year.

White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro said on Monday the administration wants Harley to make more motorcycles in the United States.

"Remember, they came to us, for example, pointing out that India had a 100 percent tariff on Harley Davidsons. That's certainly not fair," Navarro told CNBC.

"We want Harleys made here, more made here, and that's going to happen under the president's trade policies."

In response to Navarro's comments, a Harley spokesman said the company made its position clear in Monday's filing.

  • AAP