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‘So unfair to US’: Trump vows to hit back at EU as tariffs bite Harley-Davidson

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US President Donald Trump threatened retribution on Europe Tuesday over tariffs that have bruised profitability at iconic US motorcycle company Harley-Davidson.

Trump  quoted commentary from Fox Business Network anchor Ashley Webster, who pointed to the drag from European Union tariffs as a key factor in falling sales by the iconic US motorcycle maker.

“So unfair to U.S.,” Trump said on Twitter. “We will reciprocate.”

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The commentary was a pivot of sorts from the US president, in targeting Brussels rather than Wisconsin-based Harley.

He previously lashed out at the 116-year-old company after it announced plans last summer to shift some US manufacturing overseas as a way to circumvent the EU tariffs, which were imposed on key American goods in March 2018 in retaliation for Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Trump’s latest threat comes as Washington and Brussels are close to the start of formal trade talks, now that the US leader has moved closer to settling a months-long fight with China.

Harley-Davidson reported a $21 million hit from tariffs in the first quarter, which contributed to the 26.8 percent drop in profits to $127.9 million amid lower revenues.

In June, Harley-Davidson announced it was shifting some manufacturing capacity overseas as “the only sustainable option” following punitive import duties of 31 percent in the EU.

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The motorcycle manufacturer in January 2018 announced it would close a Missouri factory and consolidate jobs into Pennsylvania at the same time it was building a new factory in Thailand.

The Thailand operation is part of Harley’s “tariff mitigation” strategy aimed at the growing Southeast Asian market, the company said.

“We’re acting with agility and discipline to take full advantage of rapidly evolving global markets,” Chief Executive Matt Levatich said.

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Harley also is focused on building up a new generation of riders to make up for declines in the older population that has been its bedrock.

The company said it found 278,000 “new riders” in the US in 2018 and that “this group is the most diverse across age, ethnicity and gender in all the years Harley-Davidson has tracked this data.”

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Shares of Harley-Davidson fell 2.1 percent prior to the open, but later recovered and was up 0.8 percent at midday.


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Washington Post reporter suspended after tweeting article about Kobe Bryant rape allegation

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On Sunday, Kobe Bryant — basketball icon, Philadelphia native, fluent Italian speaker and retired member of the Los Angeles Lakers — was killed in a helicopter crash in his adopted home of Southern California along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez, following Bryant’s death, tweeted a link to a Daily Beast article discussing Bryant’s 2003 rape case. And the Post has suspended Sonmez, according to Managing Editor Tracy Grant.

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Beijing authorities on Monday reported the Chinese capital's first death from a new deadly virus that has rapidly spread across the country, killing more than 80 people and causing global alarm.

The victim was a 50-year-old man who had visited the central city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 8 and developed a fever after returning to Beijing seven days later, the city's health commission said.

He went to a hospital on January 21 and died on Monday of respiratory failure, the commission said.

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The authorities have enacted sweeping travel restrictions across the country in a desperate bid to stop the virus from spreading further.

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Fox News contributor Dan Bongino said that President Barack Obama had not done enough to clean the "swamp" in Washington, D.C. after reports said that former National Security Adviser John Bolton was aware of the president's Ukraine scheme.

According to portions of Bolton's new book obtained by The New York Times, Trump told him to withhold Ukraine aid to force the country to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

Bongino suggested to the hosts of Fox & Friends that Bolton, who was also a Fox News contributor at one time, could be part of a liberal conspiracy to bring down the president.

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