The U.S. Trade Representative has approved the inclusion of e-bikes and e-bike motors on the list of $16 billion worth of Chinese products that will be hit with a 25 percent tariff starting Aug. 23. The has finalized the list, which it had first released June 15. After review and a public comment period, the USTR removed just five product categories from the list of 284 categories that was proposed.
The bike industry and consumers reportedly had submitted hundreds of comments opposed to the tariff and two industry members spoke at a public hearing in Washington last month. The bike industry and tariff opponents argue that the tariffs would harm suppliers, retailers and consumers, stunt the sales growth of the market and do very little to protect U.S. e-bike manufacturers, because there are almost none. Chinese e-bikes previously had no tariff, while e-bike motors have a 4 percent tariff.
The USTR said its investigation “found China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden U.S. commerce.”
The next step for the industry is to petition for exemption from the tariff, said Alex Logemann, the director of state and local policy for PeopleForBikes. The deadline to submit applications for exemption is Oct. 9 and Logemann said PeopleForBikes and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association will submit an application on the industry’s behalf.
Photo courtesy Yamaha E-bikes