The Great Harley-Davidson War: Trump’s Trade Tariffs Hit Legendary Motorcycle Brand Hard
Our staff reporter in Washington Alexander Khristenko will report on the situation in the USA.
Trump has a new war there — you won't believe — with the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company, that manufactures, perhaps, the most American product ever.
The sound of the engine caresses the ear of both bikers and motorists for generations. The music of Harley-Davidson's start-up, running, shut-off is even uploaded to MP3 players. The motorcycle itself is the rare product that is still manufactured the old way — in the USA.
Dwight Fili, motorcycle shop Managing Director: «It's a legendary brand, a symbol of freedom. You can ride it all over our country».
At the same time, Harley-Davidson is partly leaving the US. The EU has responded to the American steel and aluminum duties with duties on motorcycles. Harley-Davidson is kind of changing its birthplace to bypass the duties and retain the sales. Trump accused the company of hypocrisy and defeatism.
«A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country, never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end — they surrendered, they quit! The aura will be gone, and they will be taxed like never before!»
Donald Trump: «The EU retaliatory duties will hit Kentucky's bourbon, Illinois corn, and North Dakota beans. Trump is reassuring the farmers — be patient, soon we'll win! The remote town of Fargo that has become famous due to the movie and a TV-show of the same name, is in the spotlight again. The EU, of course, was set up to take advantage of the US, to attack out piggy bank, right? Last year, we lost $150 bln. They send their Mercedes, BMWs in, we send our product back — they say „No, thanks.“ For those who claim this is free trade — this isn't free trade, this is stupid trade. We can't let it happen anymore. The era of global freeloading at the expense of the US is over».
According to the Washington Post, Trump suggested to Macron that France should leave the EU. Meaning Washington has something better to offer. With a stroke of a gilded shovel, Trump started the construction of a gigantic Foxconn factory in Wisconsin. The American leader has imposed duties on import of Chinese electronics for billions of dollars. In the same hard manner, America tries to force its expensive liquid gas to the EU countries. That's why Washington is obviously impeding Russian Nord Stream-2.
— Why are you against the project? Why won't you let Europe decide?
Roger Wicker, Republican Senator: «As I said, we view the project as a Russian attempt to control the energy future of vulnerable European countries».
The political and trade discord between America and core Europe, Germany in particular, which votes for Nord Stream-2, is no obstacle — there are new EU members and Ukraine. They come to Washington on their own and ask for the expensive American fuel.
— Are you satisfied with the visit?
— Why won't you ask the question?
They are satisfied with the Russian gas when it's pumped through their pipes. For example, Kiev makes up to $3 bln per year. That's why the Rada speaker Parubiy spooked everyone with Nord Stream and Putin in the American Senate.
Andriy Parubiy: «Putin is a global threat».
The Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak explained the actual situation with the pipeline to the US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and his American colleague Rick Perry.
Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy: «We touched upon the issue of both sanctions and Nord Stream-2. We exchanged our views on the issues. I stated the stand that it's a cost-effective project for Europe, which European consumers are interested in, which is implemented by European companies jointly with Gazprom».
As Novak said, energy cooperation may become not a hot spot but a point of coincidence of wants for both countries. Which is even more important prior to the meeting of Trump and Putin. In the plane, the US president answered the reporters' questions on the Helsinki summit. Here's the audio record of the interview.
— Do you plan to lift the sanctions from Russia?
— We'll see what Russia will do. Listen, we are going to discuss a lot of issues. We'll talk on Syria, Ukraine, we'll maybe talk on what Obama lost, like the Crimea. Everything is possible.
— Will the USA recognize the Crimea as a part of Russia?
— We'll see about that.
The announced meeting threw the American media into a panic. The opposition channels expect Trump to lose to Putin at the meeting. The veterans of the American diplomacy are grumpy as well.
John Kerry, ex-Secretary of State: «After the G7, meaning the discord and suspicions among our allies, it's not right, in such a context, to arrange a summit with President Putin».
Special Counsel Mueller has been investigating for over a year, but he hasn't adduced any proofs of Trump's deal with the Kremlin so far. But CNN willingly concedes the US president was elected in Moscow. That's why they don't allow a trace of irony online.
«Russian state TV is gloating on Bolton's visit and cracking jokes that Russian could influence the political process in the USA».
«The American media has convinced millions liberal Americans of the Russian meddling».
«In Washington, thousands of people have gathered in front of the White House. The organizers asked the protesters to put on something white as a symbol of unity and peace. They are protesting against Trump's policy, against the policy of zero-tolerance to illegal immigrants. They call it in here „zero-humanity policy“.
There are obscene gestures to the White House, posters — from cute ones, like a mother and a child, up to highly strong ones, like an accusation of violence against minors. There are over 2,000 children currently in temporary camps. American border-guards have separated them from their parents, illegal immigrants, who were sent to detention cells.
»A family should stay together no matter what".
The red-hot feelings and the 97-degree air were tried to cool down by Washington's fire-fighters. Near the park in front of the White House, they pulverized water by the tons. But New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles were set on fire.
Amid public criticism, Trump canceled the policy of family separation but illegals are still persecuted. Apparently, the entire families are going to be in custody. The protest against Trump's migration policy is still on. As well as rallies in support of the current president in that different conservative America that has elected Trump, and many still don't believe it exists.
Donald Trump: «It's happening».
Alexander Khristenko, Nikolay Koskin, Vesti Nedeli, the USA.