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Donald Trump warns Harley-Davidson any shift in production ‘will be the beginning of the end’

WATCH ABOVE: Harley-Davidson says new tariffs will raise price of motorcycles by thousands of dollars

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump denied Tuesday that his trade policy is to blame for Harley-Davidson‘s decision to shift some motorcycle production overseas, saying on Twitter that the company is using “Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse” to hide previously announced plans to move jobs to Asia.

The Milwaukee-based company said Monday it came to its decision because of retaliatory tariffs it faces in an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and the European Union. The company had no immediate response Tuesday to the president’s assertions.

READ MORE: Rising tariffs forcing Harley-Davidson to move some motorcycle production overseas

Trump warned Harley-Davidson that any shift in production “will be the beginning of the end.”

“The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!” Trump said in one of several tweets Tuesday. He was referring to tariffs Harley-Davidson would face on motorcycles produced overseas and shipped back to the U.S. for sale.

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WATCH: White House slams EU over tariffs resulting in Harley-Davidson move

White House slams EU over tariffs resulting in Harley-Davidson move
White House slams EU over tariffs resulting in Harley-Davidson move

The president has held up the iconic American motorcycle maker as an example of a U.S. business harmed by trade barriers in other countries, but Harley-Davidson had warned that tariffs could negatively impact its sales.

READ MORE: Trump threatens ‘reciprocity’ against U.S. trade partners who impose tariffs

Trump recently imposed steep tariffs on aluminum and steel imported from Canada, Mexico and Europe in his bid to level the trade playing field and reduce trade deficits between the U.S. and its trade partners. But those countries have treated Trump’s action as an insult and have chosen to respond in kind.

The U.S. and China are also volleying back and forth over tariffs.

WATCH: Canada to retaliate U.S. tariffs with its own dollar-for-dollar tariffs response
Canada to retaliate U.S. tariffs with its own dollar-for-dollar tariffs response
Canada to retaliate U.S. tariffs with its own dollar-for-dollar tariffs response

Trump tweeted that Harley-Davidson had already announced it was closing a Kansas City plant and moving those jobs to Thailand. But it was union officials representing workers at that plant who claimed the jobs were being shifted to Thailand. Harley-Davidson has denied a link between Kansas City and Thailand.

“That was long before Tariffs were announced,” Trump said. “Hence, they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse. Shows how unbalanced & unfair trade is, but we will fix it…..”

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READ MORE: Trump’s tariffs on Canadian lumber are pricing Americans out of the U.S. housing market

Trump said he’s getting other countries to reduce and eliminate tariffs and trade barriers, and to open up markets.

WATCH: Trump Slams Canada for tariff retaliation
Trump Slams Canada for tariff retaliation
Trump Slams Canada for tariff retaliation

A group from Harley-Davidson met with Trump at the White House last year.

“When I had Harley-Davidson officials over to the White House, I chided them about tariffs in other countries, like India, being too high,” Trump tweeted. “Companies are now coming back to America. Harley must know that they won’t be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax!”

Trump added that the administration is finishing a study on imposing tariffs on cars from the EU, which he claims has taken advantage of the U.S. for too long.

“A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!” Trump tweeted. “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!”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Trump’s attack on Harley-Davidson is an example of the president “punching down.”

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READ MORE: Hurry up and buy? How Trump’s auto tariffs could affect car prices in Canada

“I don’t have a problem with the president taking on China,” Kinzinger said Tuesday on CNN, adding that he personally likes Trump. But the Illinois Republican said it bothers him when Trump also takes on Canada and European nations, among others.

“Don’t take on Harley. It’s a great company,” Kinzinger said.

Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.