President Donald Trump has criticized Harley-Davidson motorcycle over its plans to shift production away from the United States in order to avoid EU tariffs.
In a tweet, he said he was surprised that Harley-Davidson had become “the first to wave the white flag”.
The motorcycle maker earlier said making bikes for the European market would be transferred to other countries.
The European Union tariffs are a response to new US duties on steel and aluminum imports.
President Trump tweeted: “Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient! #MAGA”
Harley-Davidson has decided to recall nearly 46,000 motorcycles in the US because they could stay in gear due to clutches that won’t fully disengage.
The current recall covers certain Electra Glide, Ultra Limited, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide, Road Glide and Road King models from the 2014 and 2015 model years.
Harley-Davidson says in documents that gas bubbles can cause the clutch master cylinder to lose its ability to fully disengage the clutch, especially if the bike has been parked for a long time. This could cause a rider to lose control of the motorcycle if it’s started in gear.
The problem was found through customer complaints.
Harley-Davidson reported 27 crashes and four minor injuries.
Pope Francis blessed crowds of motorcyclists at the Vatican for the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson.
Leather-clad bikers lifted their arms to greet the pontiff as he was driven up the avenue leading to St Peter’s Square to celebrate mass and give his Sunday angelus. Some had “Papa Francesco” (Pope Francis) flags fixed to their bikes, which were parked all the way down the Via della Conciliazione among the trinket shops and snack stands.
Pope Francis blessed crowds of motorcyclists at the Vatican for the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson
Later, after celebrating a mass attended by men and women in Harley vests among the faithful, many of whom were involved in a two-day anti-abortion event, Pope Francis greeted the “numerous participants” of the anniversary festivities. In a nod to the other large contingent in the crowd, he also offered prayers for “every human life, especially the most fragile, defenceless and threatened.”
Emmanuele Jaconi, an Italian biker, said he saw nothing strange in the juxtaposition. “Just because we’re motorcyclists doesn’t mean we’re not Catholics,” he said.
Marcel Taschenhofer, who had come from Rostock in northern Germany, said he was not religious and was a little disappointed not to be able to ride his bike right into St Peter’s Square. He added: “It’s just a hobby. We like to drive our bikes around, and if the pope thinks it’s good then all the better.”
Rome was invaded by thousands of motorcyclists for the four-day celebration, during which Pope Francis – in something of a marketing coup for the Wisconsin-based manufacturer – was given two white Harley-Davidsons for the Vatican police force, as well as a black leather vest with an eagle on the back.
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