The Jack Daniel’s branded Indian Scout Bobber revealed today is a celebration of all-American brands. But that might work against it should a trade war break out between the United States and the rest of the world.
The European Union is already considering retaliation against planned US import tariffs. The States wants to apply a 25% duty on imported steel and 10% on aluminium. If it does, Harley-Davidson and other American bike companies like Indian might be in the crossfire.
Europe is aiming at iconic American brands including Harley-Davidson. Others specifically included on a shortlist drawn up by Euro lawmakers include Jack Daniel’s and Levi’s. Indian could also suffer if European duties apply to American motorcycles as a whole.
European bikes also under threat from trade war
Should the protectionist strategy of the USA continue then import restrictions could also be applied to European bike brands. The US is also considering taxes on European motorcycles under 500cc in response to Europe’s longstanding refusal to allow the sale of hormone-boosted beef. That would damage firms including KTM, Piaggio and BMW.
President Trump has separately floated the idea putting tax penalties on European cars sold in America. That would also harm BMW.
If all these taxes and tariffs come into force, Harley-Davidson will bear a heavy burden. As well as suffering from the proposed duties in Europe, it will have its costs raised by the American duties on imported metals.
The overall effect is that both motorcycle companies and bike buyers will suffer if the promised trade war actually starts.