Ryan reacts to Harley-Davidson move by criticizing Trump's tariffs as 'taxes'

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.) criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE’s tariffs as “basically taxes” on Tuesday, a day after Harley-Davidson said it would begin manufacturing some motorcycles overseas to avoid retaliatory tariffs from the European Union.

“I think tariffs are basically taxes,” Ryan told reporters at the Capitol. “What ends up happening is you get escalating tariffs and end up raising taxes.”

Last fall, Ryan traveled to Harley-Davidson headquarters in his home state to tout how the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker and other companies would experience lower taxes from the historic GOP tax-cuts law.


But the Speaker has warned that Trump’s tariffs on aluminum and steel exports could spark a trade war with allies around the world. And on Tuesday, Ryan suggested the tariffs could undermine some of the benefits of Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“One of the reasons we did tax reform was to make it easier for businesses to keep manufacturing in America and export overseas,” Ryan said.

“There are unfair trading practices, no two ways about it, by other countries. I think it’s in our interest to use other tools to go after those unfair trading practices to stop other countries from dumping, from cheating, from stealing … but I think there are better tools than tariffs.”