Harley-Davidson's CEO Matthew Levatich is doing damage control in an internal company memo following a public dispute with President Trump over imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum.
In a memo released by CNBC, Levatich says Harley-Davidson does not have any "intention" or "desire" to be in a political fight with Trump.
Levatich wrote in the internal memo, without mentioning the president:
It is not our intention or our desire to be in this political spotlight, and the entirety of our effort and focus is to minimize any impact on this great brand, company, the business of our dealers and, critically, the passion and loyalty of our riders who we do everything for. Our goal is the same as the U.S. Administration: we want a level-playing field when it comes to trade, and we are working with government officials to find the best solution for our company and our brand. [Emphasis added]
As we said in our 8K filing in June when the EU enacted retaliatory tariffs on our motorcycles, Harley-Davidson would cover the cost of these tariffs; a cost we estimated to be $90-100M on an annualized basis. We made this decision to preserve rider access to our products, protect the viability of our dealers and maintain our market position in this very important market. We also laid out a 9-18 month plan to mitigate the cost to the company because with the ambitious plan we have for our future, we cannot carry these costs indefinitely.
There continues to be misinformation circulated in conjunction with this issue, and I want to reiterate and share facts about Harley-Davidson that you can both be proud of and share with interested customers. [Emphasis added]
Harley-Davidson executives have blamed Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as the reason for their outsourcing of American jobs, but as Breitbart News reported, the company has been offshoring U.S. jobs for at least a year.