Harley, which sold almost 40,000 motorcycles in Europe a year ago, said it planned to absorb those costs rather than pass them onto customers and risk hurting sales.
Harley-Davidson will begin to shift the production of motorcycles headed for Europe from the United States to factories overseas as it faces spiralling costs from tariffs. Mr. Trump said. "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into US without paying a big tax!".
In an interview on Morning Edition Tuesday, union leader Joe Capra, who represents workers at the Kansas City plant, said Harley-Davidson has been moving operations out of the USA for some time, and the company is using the new tariffs as an "excuse" to continue that trend.
The crisis began when the U.S. government imposed additional tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union (EU) region. It has three assembly plants outside the US - one each in Brazil, India and Thailand.
In 2017, Harley sold almost 40,000 new motorcycles in Europe which accounted for 14 percent of the company's sales past year.
"Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag".
"I am not happy about a "made in America" product moving somewhere else, but then you take a look at companies like Ford and General Motors, they are made overseas", he said.
In the wake of sluggish sales in the United States, Harley-Davidson announced in January it would close its Kansas City, Missouri assembly plant and consolidate jobs in York, Pennsylvania.
"We don't want to punish, but that is the unfortunate effect, that (US companies) will put pressure on the American administration to say hey, hold on a minute, this is not good for the American economy", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at a news briefing.
As a manufacturer of big motorcycles, Harley-Davidson is one of a handful of brands that are recognizable symbols of America's self-image.
Trump denied Tuesday that his trade policy was to blame for Harley's decision.
Last quarter, Harley-Davidson saw a 6.8% growth in sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa while they fell 12% in the U.S.
Trump later tweeted that he would retaliate against the EU's retaliatory tariffs by raising tariffs on European cars.
In response to Trump's tariffs, Europeans are targeting the most iconic American products, such as motorcycles, blue jeans, and bourbon.
"Therefore, Harley-Davidson will not raise its manufacturer's suggested retail prices or wholesale prices to its dealers to cover the costs of the retaliatory tariffs".
On NPR, Joe Capra of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers Local 176, said he believes Harley-Davidson is using the tariff issue as an excuse for to do what they long planned to do.
Harley-Davidson didn't immediately return a request for comment. However, falling motorcycle sales in the U.S., due in part to rising competition with companies like Honda and Yamaha and an aging population and changing consumer trends among younger generations has led Harley-Davidson to focus more outside of the US.