President Donald Trump said on Sunday in a tweet that the planned boycott by some Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners is “great.”
“Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Great!” he added. “Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better.”
The tweet comes after several Harley-Davidson owners told The New York Times that they intend to abandon the Wisconsin-based company if it goes through with plans to shift some production overseas.
Several owners said they are going to stop buying motorcycles from the company as part of a boycott to the announcement that Harley will move some of its production out of the U.S.
“I’m riding my last Harley,” 67-year-old biker Gary Rathbun told the Times. “It was American made, and that’s why we stood behind them.”
Gary Panepinto, a machinist from Illinois, added that Harley-Davidson should keep its manufacturing facilities entirely U.S.-based if it plans to sell in a U.S. market.
“They need to keep them here in the United States, especially if they’re going to sell them here,” Panepinto said. “I think Trump is just trying to protect jobs in the U.S.”
Harley-Davidson has stated that it will only move production of bikes sold outside the U.S. to Europe, citing rising costs from European Union tariffs on its products.
Trump’s decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum on the EU and other longtime U.S. allies resulted in many U.S. companies to announce that they are shifting production in order to survive.
However, some bikers told the Times that the company was merely using Trump’s tariffs as an excuse to outsource production.
“They’re always advertising that they’re made in America, so I don’t think they should do it,” said one biker, Oliver Lapointe, who said he rides Japanese bikes. “They’re greedy.”
Trump on Saturday welcomed members of a “Bikers for Trump” group to his New Jersey golf club.
“Bikers for Trump at Bedminster earlier today. Thank you!”