Trump warns Harley-Davidson: 'Don't get cute with us'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE on Thursday warned Harley-Davidson not to “get cute” with the U.S., continuing his spat with the motorcycle manufacturer over its plans to move some of its production overseas. 

The remarks came during a speech Trump gave at the groundbreaking of a new Wisconsin factory for Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn.


Trump, who traveled to the state to tout the Foxconn project and his administration's economic successes, pleaded with Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson to keep its production sites in the U.S.

“We want to tell, by the way, Harley-Davidson, please build those beautiful motorcycles in the USA, please, OK? Don’t get cute with us. Don’t get cute,” Trump said.

“They don’t realize the taxes are coming way down. Spent a lot of time with them,” Trump continued. “Build them in the USA. Your customers won’t be happy if you don’t.”

Harley-Davidson's headquarters is about 25 miles north of the new Foxconn plant.

According to a filing on Monday, Harley-Davidson said it would produce motorcycles bound for the international market in overseas factories.

The company cited the European Union's recent decision to implement tariffs on motorcycles imported from the U.S. The tariffs followed the Trump administration's move to implement steep steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU and other countries.

According to the filing, Harley-Davidson said tariffs on its motorcycles rose from 6 percent to 31 percent in recent weeks.

Trump has vowed that he will uphold the tariffs in an effort to secure better trade deals, despite warnings from domestic and foreign lawmakers that it will hurt American workers.

In the days since Harley-Davidson announced its plans to move overseas, Trump has vacillated between threatening the company and encouraging them to keep their production in the U.S.

He suggested Monday that the company was using tariffs as an excuse and urged it to "be patient."

On Tuesday and Wednesday, he threatened the company with additional taxes and warned that its business would suffer if it followed through with the move.