Trump threatens trade war with EU over Harley Davidson tariffs: 'We will Reciprocate!'

Tom Embury-Dennis
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Trump says he would 'head to the Supreme Court' to block impeachment

Trump says he would 'head to the Supreme Court' to block impeachment

Donald Trump has threatened to launch a trade war with the EU over tariffs imposed on Harley Davidson.

Following a lengthy and rambling tirade about news media outlets which have covered stories that reflect badly on him, the president began by apparently quoting a Fox News business correspondent as saying: “Harley Davidson has struggled with Tariffs with the EU, currently paying 31%. They’ve had to move production overseas to try and offset some of that Tariff that they’ve been hit with which will rise to 66% in June of 2021.”

Responding to the claim, he wrote: "So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!"

Harley Davidson saw profits wiped out in the final quarter of last year, primarily due to the costs of new tariffs which were in fact instigated by Mr Trump himself.

It said earlier this year it planned to minimise the impacts of those tariffs in Europe, China and the US by using its factory in Thailand to serve the European and Chinese markets.

But it only became a target of EU and Beijing tariffs in retaliation for those introduced by Mr Trump. And some of those levies imposed by the president also hit the motorcycle company, as they increased the costs of parts it imports from abroad.

Mr Trump's complaint - just a year after he claimed trade wars are "good and easy to win" - came in the middle of a series of early morning attacks against his perceived enemies in the media, and even Twitter, his preferred social media platform.

At 5.59am, Mr Trump attacked a New York Times journalist as "stupid", before claiming the newspaper would one day "have to get down on their knees and beg for forgiveness".

He went on to complain wrongly that previous presidents in charge of a growing economy were "immune from criticism" compared to the attention he receives from the press, and claimed a current affairs TV show he disapproves of is "dumb and sick".

He concluded by tweeting a bizarre conspiracy theory that Twitter is "very discriminatory" and makes it hard for Republicans to join the platform.

"Constantly taking people off list. Big complaints from many people. Different names-over 100 M but should be much higher than that if Twitter wasn’t playing their political games," he wrote.

"No wonder Congress wants to get involved - and they should. Must be more, and fairer, companies to get out the WORD!"

The social media platform has denied it discriminates against conservatives, and there is no evidence to back up the president's claim.