In the early eighties, Harley-Davidson claimed that Japanese manufacturers were importing motorcycles into the US in such volume as to harm or threaten to harm domestic producers. After an investigation by the US International Trade Commission, President Reagan imposed in 1983 a 45% tariff on imported bikes and bikes over 700 cc engine capacity. Harley Davidson subsequently rejected offers of assistance from Japanese motorcycle makers.
In 1983, many of the Japanese and other foreign manufactures dropped engine sizes from 750cc to 700cc in what has become known as the "Harley tariff". US President Ronald Reagan imposed a 45 percent tariff over a five-year period on the import of Japanese motorcycles, improving Harley-Davidson's ability to compete against high-quality foreign manufacturers as the last U.S. motorcycle manufacturer.