The conservative Wall Street Journal criticized Trump’s tariffs and said that he’s killing the very American jobs he promised to protect. They predict it will cost Republicans in November.
The WSJ editorial team blamed Trump’s policies for the decision by Harley-Davidson to move jobs to Europe, and said American workers will be the “biggest losers.”
The scathing editorial began with “Donald Trump’s trade war has been an abstraction for most Americans so far, but the retaliation has now begun in earnest and the casualties are starting to mount. President’s beloved stock market took another header Monday on news of more restrictions on investment into the U.S., and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down for 2018. But the biggest losers Monday were the American workers, who make Harley-Davidson motorcycles, whose jobs will soon be headed overseas thanks to the Trump tariffs.”
WSJ reminded readers they praised Harley-Davidson last year for “building things in America” and promoted the company as a great American icon. The paper accused Trump of failing to help Harley-Davidson create more jobs for American workers and said it’s actually driving them away.
“Harley has opted not to raise prices, instead bearing the $90 million to $100 million annual cost of the tariffs in the short term,” WSJ explained. “To avoid those trade penalties in the long term, Harley will scale back U.S. operations over the next 18 months, making more bikes overseas.”
WSJ continued “Harley hasn’t provided details about how its American workforce will be affected. But Harley employs more than a thousand unionized U.S.” and “Harley’s main manufacturing facilities are in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and Mr. Trump has said the ‘big league’ support of Harley employees helped him win the swing states in 2016.”
The conservative paper ripped Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, too, saying, “The only response White House press secretary Sarah Sanders could muster on Monday to the Harley news is that ‘the European Union is trying to punish U.S. workers by engaging in unfair trade practices. But the Harley harm is made in America—that is, the White House.”
WSJ said even more American jobs are at risk because of Trump’s policies and that those jobs are in states that Republicans need this November. They noted, “The protectionist pain isn’t limited to Harley. Mid-Continent Nail of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, makes about half of the nails produced in America. But Mexican steel wire is the company’s main input, and it’s now subject to a 25% tariff… The company has already cut 60 employees from its workforce of 500, and it will likely soon lay off 200 more.”
“The damage is likely to have political consequences, as the retaliatory tariffs target industries in swing states. Wisconsin produces more than 90% of America’s ginseng, and 95% of that comes from Marathon County. The county went for Mr. Trump in 2016, but it’s now wrestling with the consequences of China’s new 15% retaliatory tariff. Mr. Trump is also going to have some explaining to do to Wisconsin cranberry farmers, Florida orange-juice producers, and Iowa soy and corn growers.”
The Journal warned the GOP: “Good luck to Republicans running on the Trump tariffs in November.”
At the news of Harley jobs being moved to Europe, Trump, in his typical style, tweeted: “A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!”
A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2018