MONTREAL, Quebec (BRAIN)—If there was one message the 12-member Canadian Association of Specialty Bicycle Importers (CASBI) made clear at Expocycle, it’s that retailers and suppliers must rally against renewal of anti-dumping duties on bikes.
“Despite what you’ve heard on the show floor, there’s still time to have your voice heard. It’s not a done deal. The hearings haven’t happened yet,” said Martin Vellend of Vellendtech, distributor of Fuji bikes in Canada, during a meeting CASBI held Sunday night after the show.
He and James McIlroy, legal counsel for CASBI, along with Kona’s Gary Clarke, discussed the 15-year-old duties and asked retailers to write to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT).
The CITT is scheduled to hold hearings in Ottawa starting Oct. 15 as a result of an Aug. 10 decision by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that allowing the duties to expire would result in the continuation or resumption of dumping.
Canada applies anti-dumping duties as high as 64 percent on bikes imported from Taiwan and China that sell in IBD stores for under $650. These are in addition to custom duties that range from 8.5 to 13 percent.
“CASBI categorically opposes anti-dumping duties because they are hidden taxes that discourage competition and encourage higher prices,” McIlroy said. “CASBI believes Canada should promote bicycling by making bikes more affordable not more expensive.”
“The CITT’s role in anti-dumping duties is they make the final decision,” he added. “It’s not the same as the 30 percent surtax where they only made a recommendation.”
McIlroy, who has over two decades worth of experience with dumping cases and has represented CASBI in CITT hearings since 1992, said anti-dumping duties are supposed to protect Canadian manufacturers not importers from dumping, or mass merchants or help them compete against IBDs.
Pointing to its sole supporters—Raleigh, Canadian Tire (a mass merchant) and A. Mordo and Son (an importer and one of Canada’s biggest mass-market suppliers)—McIllroy said the duties have created an import monopoly instead of promoting competition.
Despite having 15 years of protection, the duties have not helped Raleigh manufacture better bikes in Canada; the company only makes steel-frame bicycles in its Quebec assembly plant, McIllroy said. “They have no interest in making aluminum. Why should they? They have protection,” he said.
“Taxes destroy growth—all levels should be removed,” said Usman Valiante, BTAC’s advocacy director, adding that BTAC’s position at the hearings will be against the duties.
“We should no longer have CITT dealing with bicycles period, that will be my position,” Valiante said. “Our primary voice will be that of retailers.” -Lynette Carpiet