President Trump had been planning to visit the Milwaukee headquarters of Harley-Davidson on Thursday, according to CNN, but the company reportedly cancelled on him. The reason for the cancellation, according to an unnamed administration source who spoke to CNN, was the expectation of protests over Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries. Harley-Davidson, for its part, officially denied that a visit had ever been in the works. The Milwaukee Business Journal, though, reported that it did seem that a trip was nixed, pointing to a temporary flight restriction over the city, presumably for Air Force One, that was also cancelled.
This change of plans represents just how tricky of a situation many American businesses have found themselves in when deciding whether to align themselves with a divisive president, shun him, or keep quiet. Harley-Davidson, a 114-year-old American institution, after all has to look out for its interests in a tough marketplace, and it recently revised its projected sales figures down. Associating with an unpopular president can be damaging to business, just as associating with a popular one can improve it. A contentious president, loved by some and marched against by others, is a dangerous bedfellow for companies eager to keep a positive image with every would-be customer.