Harley-Davidson lobbyist warned against tariffs

AP News
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Posted: Mar 01, 2017 6:59 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on President Trump's mention of Harley Davidson in his speech to Congress (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A spokeswoman for motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson says the company is open to trade policies that address barriers to international growth. Pat Sweeney was responding to a question about a letter a lobbyist for Harley sent to the Office of the United States Trade Representative earlier this year.

Sweeney said in a statement Wednesday that while the company cannot speculate on the Trump administration's future policy, Harley-Davidson's biggest opportunity for growth is in international markets.

Trump mentioned Harley in his speech to Congress Tuesday night as an example of why the U.S. needs to fight foreign trade barriers.

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4:30 p.m.

Harley-Davidson, which President Donald Trump singled out Tuesday when discussing import taxes, has warned against such taxes.

Trump said in his speech to Congress that executives from Harley-Davidson told him they have trouble selling motorcycles outside of the United States because of high taxes. Trump said while other countries impose heavy taxes and tariffs on American products, the United States doesn't do the same.

But a Harley lobbyist warned that imposing additional tariffs on foreign imports could end up hurting sales, in comments submitted to the Office of the United States Trade Representative earlier this year.

Harley spokeswoman Pat Sweeney said taxes and tariffs in other countries put the company at a disadvantage but didn't immediately clarify its stance on imposing tariffs.