Harley-Davidson, Sen. Johnson against Trump tariffs
The Trump administration announced Thursday they plan to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
The president says this will cut into the U.S. trade defecit, but many Wisconsin companies, including Harley-Davidson, say increased material costs will hurt because of retaliation tariffs from the E.U.
"Harley-Davidson’s purpose is to help our customers fulfill dreams of freedom around the world. We support free and fair trade and hope for a quick resolution to this issue. We believe import tariffs on steel and aluminum will drive up costs for all products made with these raw materials, regardless of their origin.
We are currently evaluating our options for managing anticipated cost increases following today’s announcement. Additionally, we believe a punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in other major markets would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, our suppliers and our customers in those markets."
Managers for Max Weiss in Milwaukee say they've already seen problems since tariffs on steel and aluminum were announced.
"It used to be material pricing, steel pricing, was pretty stable," said Alan Sanders, the companies VP of sales. "It's jumped at least 20 percent.
Sanders says more tariffs would be worse, especially if they're put on Canada, which is the largest exporter of both steel and aluminum to the U.S.
"That might get complex because a lot of the large structural tubes come out of mills in Canada," Sanders said. "I'm not sure if domestically they're made here in the U.S."
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI, says the tariffs are bad for the state.
"Wisconsin, we are a big exporter of agricultural as well as manufacturing products," Johnson said. "We're also a big importer. Our imports by and large offset our exports."
He added that, in his opinion, nobody wins a trade war.
"We may be less of a loser than other countries because we are the world's largest economy, but I would much rather seek cooperative arrangements where it's a win win for everybody involved."
The tariffs are set to go into effect at midnight.