U.S. bike industry dealt tariff blow as trade war hots up

The United States trade spat with China looks set to result in a 25% tariff on Chinese electric bikes, which were listed in proposals released on Friday.

With the U.S. bike business relying heavily on imports the likely victims of a tariff hike include several A-list brands ranging Giant to Trek, as well as countless other smaller electric specialists. For the most part such a hike would add hundreds of dollars to retail prices, undoubtedly dampening the appetite for a sector which has emerged as a money spinner globally.

The 248 product strong list released last week is set to go up for a public consultation ahead of a final decision by the U.S. Trade Representative. This ultimately means that the U.S. bike business will not know its fate for several months, a period during which those in the business have to lobby for or against such tariffs.

As an aside to the first list, a further 818 product codes worth $34 billion in trade were released by the USTR. It has already been confirmed that these will be hit with a 25% tariff and one that begins as soon as next month. On that list are things like GPS cycle computers.

Bicycle Retailer now reports that People For Bikes and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association will spearhead a trade campaign to lobby against the tariff on electric bikes.

The public comment process has, at the time of writing, not yet been announced, but is expected in the Federal Register later today (Wednesday 20th June). The deadline for written comments falls on July 31st.

If the ongoing saga in Europe relating to Chinese electric bike imports is anything to go by, brands may already be assessing moving their production or assembly away from China in order to dodge the tariff.

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