US President Donald Trump tweeted his disappointment at Harvey-Davidson's decision which he characterised as the company waving the white flag of defeat. "Their employees and customers are already very angry at them", he wrote on Twitter.
Mid-Continent's orders for July are only 30 percent of what they were a year ago, and Skarich is afraid that many of his lost customers will never return.
But Trump's rage at Harley-Davidson and his displeasure with a company's announcement that it would do what it thinks is best to maximize profits amid a shifting trade landscape shows the political danger of picking economic winners and losers. "Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse", he said.
The company added, "Increasing global production to alleviate the European Union tariff burden is not the company's preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the European Union and maintain a viable business in Europe".
But the president's claim that the Kansas City plant's operations are moving to Thailand are disputed by both Harley-Davidson and leaders of the union representing workers at the plant. The move came in response to Trump's recent decision to slap tariffs on European imports.
In 2017, almost 40,000 riders bought a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Europe, accounting for more than 16% of the company's sales past year.
Therefore, in the near term, Harley-Davidson will bear the significant impact resulting from these tariffs and not raise prices on consumers. The EU sales make up nearly 16.4 per cent of Harley-Davidson's worldwide sales.
In turn, it also incentivizes firms to move their production overseas since other countries may have lower tariffs - or no tariffs - on the same intermediate product. "Now they are trying to use the tariffs to excuse and deflect from that decision". Martinez added. "Does Harley even understand what "Made in America" means?"
Motorcycles bound for European countries will now be produced in overseas factories. "Harley Davidson forced to take action after the European Union hit back at America". Those were applied last week in response to Trump's own tariffs on steel and aluminum.
In his freewheeling speech, Trump said nothing about Harley but described the United States as being ripped off by its trading partners.
So while the corporate world certainly had Trump's back in 2017 when many businesses urged the administration to cut corporate taxes, tariffs are likely to be a different story.
Harley-Davidson's troubles just don't seem to end.
The company said: "Harley-Davidson maintains a strong commitment to US-based manufacturing which is valued by riders globally".
Charles Payne, host of "Making Money with Charles Payne", said he does not buy the company's reasoning, arguing the plans to shift production were "old news".
JOE CAPRA: We are going to end up with a trade war that's going to cause us to have less production over here, and prices are going to go - skyrocket.
They have drawn retaliation from the EU, Canada, Mexico, India and others while driving up the cost of metals for manufacturers in the US.
Mr Trump has also threatened tariffs on foreign cars and auto parts, arguing that firms should make such products in the US.
In the close future, Harley-Davidson estimates the incremental cost for the remainder of 2018 to be approximately $30 to $45 million.