Wednesday, May 22, 2024


Harley-Davidson has picked a fight with the trade union representing its US workforce and risks falling out with the Trump administration, after announcing that it is to build a new factory in Thailand.

According to the company, motivation is avoidance of import tariffs of up to 60% in Thailand and other South-East Asian countries. In a statement, Singapore-based Harley managing director for international sales Marc McAllister said: “This is absolutely not about taking jobs out of the United States. This is about growing our business in Asia.”

However, his view has been challenged aggressively by the United Steelworkers trade union. In a press release, USW international president Leo Gerard riposted: “Harley-Davidson has been the crown jewel of American manufacturing. It’s an iconic brand that represents true American spirit. Management’s decision to offshore production is a slap in the face to the American worker and to hundreds of thousands of Harley riders across the country.

“This decision puts in jeopardy one of the few remaining genuine US brands. Our members have been true partners with this company, working in good times and bad to make great products that fostered its growth and success.

“Harley owners and prospective buyers across the globe want to continue to enjoy machines made in America that provide quality rides and unique experiences. Harley’s potential outsourcing of production puts all of this at risk.

“Offshoring production is the wrong path to prosperity. It puts in jeopardy the success that has propelled Harley over the years. Harley-Davidson should abandon their offshoring plans and expand their operations here in America.” 



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