President Donald Trump, who blessed a Harley-Davidson boycott last summer, shifted to supporting the company after it announced lower first quarter sales, which the iconic motorcycle maker blamed in part on increased tariffs. 

The company, with a large plant in Springettsbury Township, last year announced plans to move some facilities overseas because of tariffs imposed by the European Union in retaliation for Trump's tariffs on EU products.

The announcement drew the president's ire.

Trump said in an August 2018 tweet that it was "great" that "many Harley-Davidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas."

But in a Tuesday, April 23, morning tweet, the president commiserated with the company and pledged retaliation.

"So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!" he wrote. 

Harley-Davidson's worldwide retail sales decreased 3.8% in the first quarter of 2019; international sales were down 3.3% and U.S. retail sales were down 4.2%, according to a company release.

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Harley-Davidson said in a company release that operating income decreased because of lower revenues, unfavorable product mix and increased tariffs.

The company also is grappling with finding new customers. Harley-Davidson aims to garner 2 million new riders in the U.S. through 2027 with its More Roads plan. 

— Rebecca Klar can be reached at or via Twitter @RebeccaKlar_.

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