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    Harley-Davidson to Open Plant in Thailand Despite Trump's Objections - Reports

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    BANGKOK (Sputnik) - A Thailand-based plant of the iconic US motorcycle company Harley-Davidson will come into operation, despite sharp objections from US President Donald Trump, local media reported Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with the upcoming launch of the Harley-Davidson plant in Thailand.

    The plant is ready to start production and will be launched in the near future, the Bangkok Post newspaper reported, citing the company's representative in Thailand.

    READ MORE: Harley Shifting Production to Europe Was 'an Obvious Choice' — Analyst

    US firm positioned its Thai plant, which is being built near Bangkok and almost ready to start production, as a stronghold for boosting sales in Asian markets, and not as an alternative to US production, the publication noted. A source at the Harley-Davidson office in Thailand confirmed to the newspaper that the company did not plan to ship motorcycles produced in Thailand to the United States.

    According to Harley-Davidson, the recent closure of one of the two US plants, in Kansas City, Missouri, is due to the liquidation of the excess capacity of the firm in the United States, rather than a partial relocation of the production to Thailand.

    The construction of the plant began more than a year ago, and the decision to build it was made even earlier when the United States promoted the idea of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a broad free economic zone that was projected to cover up to 40 percent of the world market. In early 2017, Trump decided to withdraw from the TPP.

    READ MORE: Trump Says 'Surprised' by Harley-Davidson's Plan to Move Manufacturing to Europe

    Thailand is one of the largest producers of cars and motorcycles in Asia. The country exports more than a million cars a year. Thailand has also been world's largest producer and exported of pickup trucks for over 10 years.

    The country also produces motorcycles of Japanese brands and even of the legendary Italian brand Ducati. The plant that produces them is located in Amata Nakhon industrial park, some 50 miles from Bangkok, in the province of Chonburi. The new Harley-Davidson plant is also located in this region.


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