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"We can't sit and wait for something to happen"



President Donald Trump talks to Harley Davidson, CEO Matthew Levatich, when meeting with Harley Davidson leaders and union representatives at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, February 2, 2017.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

As President Donald Trump's international trade war rages, Harley Davidson is trying to reduce the damage to retaliatory tariffs that the EU imposes on US motorcycles that cost the company about $ 1

00 million a year, says CEO Matt Levatich. [19659002] "Europe is the big problem for the company, about a $ 100 million running price that we cover to protect our business in Europe, protect our market share, protect our volume, protect the viability of our distribution channel," Levatich said on CNBCs " Squawk Alley. "

"We can obviously not sit and wait for something to happen, we must act to make it happen," he added.

Harley was thrown into Trump's trade war last June after the company announced it would move production for its European products out of the US due to retaliatory tariffs. The company did not move to work abroad, instead of Harley saying it only moved the production of EU motorcycles to the factory in Thailand, so American jobs were not affected.

But some "hog" owners said they planned to boycott the company to move European production, which gives Trump approval.

Although Levatich said Monday, he believes the company has been working to reduce concern among its customers after Trump approved the boycott, the president's comments said "absolutely not."

No company wants comments like it did, "said Levatich about Trump's tweet.

Trump later promised to" oppose "the EU after the company blamed the charges, at least in part, on a decline in performance. from the first quarter 19659002] Trump and international leaders have been locked in a trading circle when the president promises to settle what he says is unfair trading practice, the European Union tasting $ 2.4 billion of US products, including motorcycles, after Trump had Set tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Europe last year, and as a result, EU duties on US products increased from 6% to 31%, with tariffs set to increase to 56% by 2021, unless the US and EU can reach an agreement

EU retaliatory tariffs have had a direct impact on Harley, changing the way the company makes business decisions, says Levatich, Harley's first-quarter results in 2019 fell nearly 27%, partly on Gr. from European duties.

Levatich said the company is planning to roll out new products "that play very well in strong and growing segments internationally, especially in Europe." He said it is important for the company to have the European distribution channel "to ensure that those tariffs are reduced if they do not otherwise go away."

Although Trump's first attack on Harley put political pressure on the company, Levatich said the president's comments do not hurt the US business and adds that Harley has more than half of the industry's market share in the US. He said the company was working to clarify "what the facts are" and that it needed to find ways to reduce the impact on "until tariffs go away with other political means."

Correction: This article was updated to correct the amount of money EU fees cost Harley. It's about $ 100 million a year.


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