Trade

Trump Says He’ll Retaliate for the EU’s Retaliation

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump threatened to open yet another front in his global trade war this morning by saying he will "reciprocate" for the European Union's tariffs on American-made motorcycles.

Trump is holding a rally in Wisconsin on Thursday and this may or may not be his way of pretending that he isn't the reason the EU imposed tariffs on motorcycles in the first place.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to reverse course on Harley Davidson Inc, saying European tariffs facing the motorcycle manufacturer were “unfair” and vowing to reciprocate, after urging a boycott of the company last year amid a steel spat. [...]

On Tuesday, Trump appeared more sympathetic, calling the EU tariffs “unfair” but giving no other details about any planned U.S. action in a tweet citing comments by a Fox Business Network host.

“So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!” Trump wrote.

Trump unilaterally imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum last year and, like many other countries around the world, European nations imposed retaliatory tariffs on American-made goods in response.

Harley Davidson, along with various agricultural products, was a politically-juicy target for the EU's retaliatory tariffs because it would hit Trump and his base exactly where it hurts.

Trump is the reason Harley motorcycles have been hit with tariffs and he's also the one who called for boycotting the company for moving production in response to his tariffs.

I expect Trump will use his upcoming rally in Green Bay to make more specific threats against the EU. I also expect most of what he says he's going to do will be bullshit and the White House will have to walk it back the next day.

Shares of Harley-Davidson surged this morning which tells me your average buyer may not understand trade any more than Trump does. He will bring them ruin.

  • muselet

    On Saturday, Trump is scheduled to travel to Wisconsin to hold a campaign rally as he seeks reelection in the 2020 presidential election.

    And there it is, the only fact one needs in order to understand Donald Trump’s threat to “reciprocate” for EU tariffs. Harley-Davidson is a Wisconsin-based company, Trump has a campaign event in a few days, therefore he has to raise a ruckus to show his supporters he’ll stand up to them damn’ effete furriners!

    TPM commenter “mattinpa” (in a different context, but still…):

    I remember thinking a long time ago that Trump would not be a good literary subject because he’s fundamentally uninteresting. He reacts exactly the same way to a given stimulus every single time. And he’s a dullard; his inner life is just a dreary cesspool. How much time would anyone want to spend with him? Five minutes would be an interminable hell. If you were in an asbestos rowboat on a sea of lava for those five minutes you’d jump out before enduring a sixth.

    –alopecia