U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday congratulating consumers who will choose to boycott Harley-Davidson should the company decide to move some of their motorcycle production overseas.
“May @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great! Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better,” the tweet read.
This weekend, Trump welcomed members of a group called “Bikers for Trump” to his New Jersey golf club. As Trump signed autographs and posed for selfies, his fans booed reporters.
Later, when the rain had eased, Trump walked outside the residence, where the bikers had gathered with their motorcycles on the drive. He posed for more pictures, stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and urged the bikers to rev their engines.
WATCH: Why Harley-Davidson is moving U.S. production
“Let’s hear those engines now,” he called out, gesturing for them to go louder as the motors roared.
According to a report from CNN, tensions between Harley-Davidson and the Trump administration have been brewing for months, starting with Trump’s implementation of tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from several countries in an effort to increase domestic manufacturing.
WATCH: Harley-Davidson says new tariffs will raise price of motorcycles by thousands of dollars
Canada wound up being hit hard by this move, despite having previously been one of a handful of countries to whom the U.S. extended an exemption. As a result, the Trudeau government imposed over C$16.5 billion in retaliatory tariffs on American imports.
The European Union was also impacted by the tariffs. EU officials responded by promising to increase tariffs on a list of goods that are imported from the United States, including Harley Davidson motorcycles. Furthermore, Harley-Davidson has said in the past that it stands to lose over US$100 million per year as a result of these tariffs.
In the past, Trump has accused Harley-Davidson of using the tariffs as an “excuse” for moving manufacturing abroad, and claimed that the company had planned to shift some operations to Thailand before the tariffs were announced.
It’s important to note that while interest in motorcycles has been waning in the U.S., foreign interest has increased.
Trump also said last month that his government is working with foreign motorcycle companies that want to move into the U.S.
–With files from the Associated Pres.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.