Wisconsin’s Harley-loving governor put in bind with Trump

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s full-throttled like of Harley-Davidson bikes has been intertwined with his increasing political occupation, but now he have to navigate revved up criticism of the Milwaukee-centered company from President Donald Trump.

The president on Tuesday tweeted that if Harley goes via with its options to shift some production abroad, “it will be the beginning of the conclusion – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like hardly ever just before!”

Trump was referring to tariffs Harley-Davidson would confront on motorcycles developed overseas and delivered back again to the U.S. for sale.

Walker has avoided immediately criticizing Trump on the difficulty, continuously expressing as an alternative that no tariffs would be excellent for Wisconsin manufacturers and farmers. He hasn’t spelled out what he would do to even further that policy and his spokeswoman repeated that same place Tuesday when questioned to respond to Trump’s tweets.

“Governor Walker believes there must be no tariffs or trade limitations as the President mentioned previously this month at the G7 summit,” Walker spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg said. “When there is certainly a stage actively playing industry, American personnel and businesses acquire.”

Walker’s Democratic opponents — 8 are running for a likelihood to choose him on — pounced on the conflict.

“Wisconsin requirements a governor who says Donald Trump is a dangerous idiot on each challenge from immigration to trade policy,” stated Madison Mayor Paul Soglin. “I am declaring it.”

Walker owns a 2003 Harley Highway King motorcycle that he’s pushed across the point out to promote tourism and his very own political ambitions. When Walker officially introduced his presidential operate in 2015, about 50 % of his stops in the 1st week ended up at Harley retailers and he exclusively wore bike boots. At a presidential discussion that yr, the motorcycle-boot wearing Walker said his Solution escort company in DC nickname as president would be “Harley.”

In an October re-election marketing campaign start movie touting his file, Walker rides his Harley and asks the viewer, “Are you with me?”

Trump made enjoyable of Walker for his love of motorcycles throughout the presidential race. At a rally in Janesville in 2016, Trump claimed: “He does not glimpse like a motorbike male to me. I am sorry.”

Walker and Trump built amends, and the governor very last year invited the president to take a trip on a Harley following he canceled a take a look at to the company’s headquarters.

Harley executives later traveled to Washington for a meeting with Trump, who mentioned they informed him of the issue they faced advertising bikes abroad.

Harley has also extensive lobbied in opposition to retaliatory tariffs, saying they put the firm at a competitive disadvantage. Harley mentioned Monday it arrived to its final decision to transfer some creation overseas because of retaliatory tariffs it faces in an escalating trade dispute amongst the U.S. and the European Union.

Trump denied Tuesday that his trade coverage was to blame for Harley’s conclusion.

Trump will get a opportunity to comment on the predicament in Wisconsin on Thursday, when he joins Walker for the groundbreaking of a Foxconn Know-how Team manufacturing unit 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Milwaukee, in which Harley is based. The party was meant to be a prospect for Walker to emphasize the Taiwanese company’s designs to spend up to $10 billion in the point out and create 13,000 escort employment in Washington DC.

But Trump’s remarks on Harley could make for an uncomfortable meeting with Walker, in particular if the president renews his assaults. As an alternative of talking about Harley on Tuesday, Walker attempted to shift the concentration to Foxconn, tweeting: “Foxconn’s point out-of-the-artwork goods will be produced in the U.S.A. — proudly in the state of Wisconsin!”

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Wisconsin’s Harley-loving governor place in bind with Trump