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What we imported from China last year

Published May 16, 2019

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Last year, the U.S. imported well over $1 billion worth of bike products, not counting some items that can't be specifically accounted for in U.S. Commerce import figures. Many of these items are now subject to a new 25% tariff in addition to prior tariffs, or will become subject to new tariffs if the Trump administration's latest "List 4" tariff proposal is enacted.

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BRAIN counts $1.1 billion in imports of complete bikes, frames and forks, wheels and wheel parts, hubs, saddles, pedals, and others parts including shifters, derailleurs, and aluminum stems.

Import stats for many bike products are unavailable because they are lumped in with other items under a single Harmonized Tariff Schedule import code. Bike helmets, for example, are included under two HTS codes that also include other "athletic, recreational and sporting headgear."

The U.S. imported $112 million of products meeting that description last year, from China. But there's no way of telling how many were bike helmets. E-bikes are also not included; they are counted under the same code as electric motorcycles and other electric cycles. Most tools, baskets and bags, shoes and cycling apparel are also not included in our $1.1 billion figure for the same reason. 

If you count bikes instead of dollars, 95% of imports came from China last year. 

The total value of all global imports of the products we counted was $2.2 billion last year, meaning that Chinese imports accounted for exactly half of bike-related imports last year in those categories. If you count bikes instead of dollars, 95% of bike imports came from China last year. 

Here's the value of Chinese imports by category last year:

  • Kids bikes: $190,415,075
  • 20-inch bikes: $138,545,856
  • 24-inch bikes: $82,315,990
  • Road bikes: $171,955,935
  • MTN/Comfort bikes: $374,454,805
  • Other bikes: $18,228,206
  • Frames, forks, and tubesets: $53,734,619
  • Wheels, rims and spokes: $13,068,805
  • Hubs: $4,899,131
  • Brakes: $3,210,825
  • Saddles: $6,431,953
  • Pedals and crank-gear: $3,294,141
  • Parts and accessories not otherwise specified: $41,050,351

Total: $1,101,605,692

The port of Shanghai, China. Wiki Commons photo.
Topics associated with this article: Tariffs

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