Why can’t we be friends?
The EU recently announced that it will revoke Harley’s Binding Origin Information (BOI) status and impose a 50-percent tariff increase on 1 June 2021. Harley-Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz quickly condemned the move. Now, 88 European and American businesses/associations are joining the bar and shield’s call for a return to mutually beneficial trade relations between the two regions.
The drama began when the US imposed a 10-percent tariff on European aluminium and a 25-percent tax on European steel on of 1 June 2018. In retaliation, the EU levied additional taxes on several American goods, including motorcycles over 500cc. To circumvent those circumstances, Harley started importing units from its international plants, but the new regulations will strip the MoCo of that privilege.
Coming to Harley-Davidson's aid, the Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles (ACEM) and the United States Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (USMMA) are calling upon the EU and the Biden administration to rectify the situation.
“This development confirms the urgency to suspend all additional tariffs on unrelated sectors, to avoid damaging escalations,” said ACEM Secretary General Antonio Perlot. “We call upon the European Commission and the new US Administration to restart a positive transatlantic trade dialogue. We continue to strongly support a return to reason and for both parties to find a solution.”
ACEM and USMMA’s fight isn’t the only reconciliatory effort, though. The EU and US recently agreed to suspend civil aircraft tariffs stemming from Airbus-Boeing disputes dating back to 2004. The four-month grace period will lift billions of dollars of additional duties and many expect the suspension to extend beyond the current September 2021 deadline.
That’s encouraging news for ACEM, USMMA, and Harley-Davidson. If the EU heeds the coalition’s appeals, it could be a big step toward the Motor Company regaining its footing in the European market.