Caught in the cross fire of trade tariffs aimed at US goods from specific regions of the USA that will most affect Republican states, the likes of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Harley-Davidson are the unintended victims of the aluminum and steel tariffs that have been imposed by the US on European commodities. The EU has reciprocated with tariffs of their own on targeted products that are most likely to cause a lot of “noise” – ie making European motorcyclists pay a lot more for a Harley, a sip of Tennessee whiskey or Kentucky bourbon, peanuts or orange juice.
The list goes on. Motorcycles have repeatedly come under tariff threats through the years often related to disputes that have nothing to do with motorcycles. The idea is that riders will complain to whoever is making the rules – or in this case case, workers in American factories will complain as they face the real possibility of dwindling markets. While we in Canada will not be directly affected by the tariffs, the possibility that the US will inflict tariffs on European motorcycles would be a bigger concern as many of those manufacturers have North American headquarters in the US. If these tariffs drag on it may nudge Harley-Davidson to move some production of the US built bikes offshore as to avoid the punishing tariffs. That wouldn’t be good either.