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Jim Cramer: 'I Feel Bad For Harley-Davidson'

Jim Cramer: 'I Feel Bad For Harley-Davidson'

Iconic American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE: HOG) would be "slapping" President Donald Trump in the face with an overseas production shift, according to CNBC's Jim Cramer.

What Happened

The motorcycle company is looking at moving parts of its production overseas to mitigate or avoid tariffs that would cost the company $100 million a year. CEO Matthew Levatich told CNBC in July that Harley is simply going to "deal with what we have to deal with" and is not taking sides in the political conversation.

Harley execs visited Trump at the White House in early 2017 and were likely assured by that "things will be good" and the administration "will defend you," Cramer said Monday. This makes he company's decision to shift parts of its production overseas is a "direct slap in the face to the president."

Why It's Important

Trump tweeted Sunday that a boycott of Harley is a "great" idea.

"Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better." 

Shares of the Milwaukee-based company were falling 3.7 percent to $41.65 at the time of publication Monday. 

The severity of the backlash could have been mitigated if the company didn't first "take advantage" of its visit to the White House only to "go exactly against him," Cramer said. 

"I feel bad for Harley-Davidson, because they are not getting a break." 

What's Next

The ongoing debate over tariffs will continue for some time, but Cramer said it's important to keep in mind the trade war didn't start with the president.

"I don't think people realize the kinds of tariff pressures they [foreign countries] put on our companies that try to sell heavy equipment and anything over there," Cramer said. "The tariffs are insane. I wish the president would use an example that this [trade war] is forced by our so called allies."

Harley-Davidson "one-upped the president and made him look bad," the CNBC host said. 

Related Links:

Analysis: Negative Reaction To Trump's Tariffs Could Make Him More Likely To Act

Harley-Davidson Hogging All The Market Share It Can


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