The American motorcycle maker, Harley-Davidson, is shifting the production of motorbikes for sale in Europe to factories outside the US. The company says it is responding to tariffs imposed by the European Union in retaliation for those by US President, Donald Trump. The European Union began charging import duties of 25 percent on a range of US products, including big motorcycle companies like Harley-Davidson, on the 22nd of June. Trump has long justified picking trade
battles by saying that products need to be built inside the US. However, some of America's motorcycle manufacturing is moving overseas. Harley-Davidson says the move is a direct result of EU tariffs on their motorcycles, which were themselves in retaliation to the Trump administration's levies on EU steel and aluminium earlier this month. The company says the EU tariffs would raise the cost of their motorcycles by about 2200 dollars each - a cost it says it is unwilling to pass on to consumers. Meanwhile, Trump, has criticised Harley-Davidson for its decision to move some of its production outside the United States. Trump tweeted that he is surprised that, Harley Davidson of all companies, was the first to wave the white flag. He told the rally in South Carolina he aims for free and fair trade: "I want the barriers taken down, I want our farmers to be able to trade. I want be able to sell cars over there just like they sell cars here." Meanwhile, the rand is taking a hammering again amid global concerns about a trade war. The rand is among the worst performing emerging market currencies and is currently trading at around 13-45 to the dollar. A weak rand was the major factor in the recent steep fuel price hikes.
More from SABC News Western Cape