In a Jan. 30 letter posted on the Office of the United States Trade Representative website, HD lobbyist Edward Moreland said Harley-Davidson opposes additional duties on the motorcycles imported from Europe because of the prospect of Europe raising their fees in response.
This is in contrast to what President Trump told Congress and the American People in his address this week when he said executives from Harley-Davidson told him they have trouble selling motorcycles outside of the United States because of high taxes.
Trump canceled a visit to Harley-Davidson's Milwaukee facility last month, which was expected to draw a significant number of protesters. Instead, Harley executives traveled to Washington for the Feb. 2 meeting. Trump said the executives told him business was good but mentioned the difficulty of selling motorcycles abroad.
Harley-Davidson sales in India, which imposes high import taxes on all luxury motorcycles and cars, rose 30 percent in the past two years. The company began assembling some bikes in India in 2011 to reduce tariffs.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican who rides a Harley-Davidson, told reporters in Madison on Wednesday that Trump loves to talk about the company's motorcycles and he would like to get Trump on one for a ride. As for the company's overseas troubles, Walker said he's advocated for years that Wisconsin products can outperform any other product given a level playing field.