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25% e-bike tariff is confirmed by USTR, will take effect August 23

Published August 7, 2018

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — 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 USTR announced Tuesday that it had 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 had submitted hundreds of comments opposed to the tariff and two industry members spoke at a public hearing in Washington last month. The industry argued that the tariffs would harm suppliers, retailers and consumers, stunt the sales growth of a blossoming environmentally beneficial product, and would do 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 "exhaustive" 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 decision came quicker than expected, noted Alex Logemann, the director of state and local policy for PeopleForBikes. The next step for the industry is to petition for exemption from the tariff, he said. Individual companies and trade associations can ask for exemptions. 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. 

Another proposed tariff, which would apply a 25 percent duty on $200 billion in Chinese goods — including about $1 billion of bike-related products — is working through the system. That group of products initially had a proposed 10 percent tariff, but the USTR, at President Trump's urging, raised it to 25 percent last week. 

The public comment period for that round of tariffs ends Sept. 6. Comments can be submitted via a form on the PeopleForBikes website or directly at Regulations.gov

 

Topics associated with this article: Trade/tariffs

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