Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin cast doubt Thursday over Harley-Davidson's claim that new tariffs are forcing the company to shift jobs overseas.
"My sense is that Harley-Davidson has previously planned on moving some of this manufacturing and it’s not just a result," Mnuchin said, speaking at a Congressional testimony.
The motorcycle manufacturer said in a regulatory filing June 25 that President Donald Trump's administration placing tariffs on European steel and aluminium would "significantly" hurt motorcycle sales, raising the cost of each bike by an average of $2,200. Harley-Davidson said it would be moving production of motorcycles shipped to the European Union, instead of increasing the price of the motorcycles for its dealers in order to cover the costs of the tariffs. The company's release said 19 percent of its sales were to Europe in the first fiscal quarter of 2018.
"Harley-Davidson believes the tremendous cost increase, if passed onto its dealers and retail customers, would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region," the company said at the time.