On the ground in Wisconsin for the opening of the Foxconn electronics plant, President Trump had a different message for another US manufacturing company.
“Harley Davidson, please build those beautiful motorcycles in the USA, please. Okay? Don’t get cute with us. Don’t get cute.”
The motorcycle giant is reportedly planning to move some production to Europe,to avoid new tariffs being imposed by European nations to retaliate for new US tariffs. The fallout comes shortly before the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are set to take effect. The trade strategy has come under scrutiny from experts like Jeffrey Schott, senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who says some American manufacturers are already losing out.
“As the costs are continued, over a period of time more and more US companies are either going to face a profit squeeze, which will force them to lay off workers or some are already indicated that they will have to go out of business.”
Implementing steel and aluminum tariffs of the type called for by the administration is easier in theory than in practice, says former assistant US Trade Representative Jeff Moon.
“There are hundreds of companies that have requested exemptions to the Trump tariffs, because these are the steel tariffs. For example perhaps because they don’t use the kind of steel that Trump is aiming for, so the tariffs are really irrelevant to them.”
For now many American small business owners in the US are taking a wait -and-see approach as the tariff deadline nears. Stephanie Nadeau owns the lobster company wholesaler in Kennebunkport, Maine.
“Canadian lobsters won’t be subject to the tax and US lobsters will. But we’re not sure if the Canadians who currently utilize a lot of US air freight out of the US, is if the tax will apply to a Canadian Lobster if it ships from a US airport.”
Meantime the president is urging lawmakers in Washington to approve enhanced reviews he says are needed to protect against national security threats.
Elizabeth Cherneff VOA News Washington.