In response, Trump blasted Harley-Davidson for using the tariffs as an "excuse" to move more of their manufacturing overseas.
"So thank you, Harley-Davidson, for building things in America", Trump said at the time.
The EU's tariffs are only the latest blowback Harley has faced from Trump's trade policies. Still, it's worth noting that the company has scaled back its American production lines in recent years in favor of opening a new plant in India, where motorbikes are highly sought, to get around a massive import tariff imposed there.
The firm said almost 40,000 people bought new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Europe previous year, which in terms of revenue generated, was second to only the USA, making it a "critical market". The EU sales make up nearly 16.4 percent of Harley-Davidson's worldwide sales.
Still. It's unlikely the news will lose Harley-Davidson any fans it hasn't already lost to cheaper, smaller and more reliable brands that are often foreign-owned.
Not wanting to dent sales in key European Union markets, the company will "bear the significant impact resulting from these tariffs", which will add an estimated $30 to $45 million in costs for the remainder of 2018 and $90 to $100 million annually. Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson.
It anticipates the cost for the rest of the year to be approximately $US30 million ($40 million) to $US45 million ($61 million).
The Milwaukee-based company said it would shift some production of bikes heading for customers in the European Union to its worldwide production plants.
A USA motorcycle sales slump has deepened since then, spurring Harley's decision in January to close a plant in Kansas City, Missouri, eliminating about 260 jobs.
United States motorcycle sales peaked at more than 1.1 million in 2005 but then plummeted during the recession. It wasn't immediately known whether any other facilities would be consolidated.
The EU said that if the US retaliates, it's prepared to slap additional tariffs on 160 USA products worth roughly $4.3 billion.
Harley Davidson, based in Milwaukee, is now planning to move the production of some of its motorcycles overseas. His next move may be to impose steep tariffs on German cars, which would constitute a serious escalation in an economic battle that is translating to real-world losses.
Harley's move is an example of what economists say will likely be a growing trend: businesses leaving the U.S. because of Trump's tariffs. "Can't blame them. Many companies are being put in very hard positions".
"President Trump will continue to push for free, fair and reciprocal trade, in hopes that the European Union will join us", Ms Sanders said. Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, hails from Harley's home state of Wisconsin, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell represents Kentucky, a major maker of bourbon. AshLee Strong says the best way to help American workers, consumers and manufacturers is to open new markets and not raise barriers.
Asked about the Harley decision Monday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker addressed the issue of tariffs in general but not specifically the situation faced by the company.