What is it about motorcycles and their ability to be caught up in tariff wars?  Over the last few years, motorcycles and motorcycle accessories have been the subject of trade wars for totally different commodities.  For example, not long ago, motorcycles and their accessories were subject to significant tariffs due to a years-long trade war between the US and EU over aircraft.

The ink was barely dry on the deal that once again excluded motorcycles from US – Euro tariffs when they were once again subject to another potential tariff.  This time around, Harley-Davidson motorcycles were the EU’s principal target (along with Kentucky bourbon).

The new tariff would raise the existing tariff percentage by 50 percentage points. So ultimately, the EU would be slapping Harley bikes with a 56% tariff.  But as a result of a new deal, Harley bikes will not see the higher rate.

Harley comments on the tariff

Responding to the announcement on the deal, Jochen Zeitz, Harley-Davidson’s Chairman, and CEO said:

“Today’s news is a big win for Harley-Davidson and our customers, employees and dealers in Europe. Our thanks go out to President Biden, Secretary Raimundo and the U.S. Administration, for their efforts in this negotiation. We are excited that this brings an end to a conflict that was not of our making, and in which Harley-Davidson had no place. This is an important course correction in U.S.-EU trade relations, that will allow us to further Harley-Davidson’s position as the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world.”

Harley-Davidson remains committed to free and fair trade and is focused on remaining globally competitive in the interests of all its stakeholders, ensuring its customers around the world have access to its products.

There’s no way to know whether motorcycles will again be subject to trade wars.  But for now, all’s quiet, and that’s a nice sound.






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