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US Trade Rep denies some Trek tariff exclusion requests, still assessing others

Published December 23, 2019

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The Trump administration, which recently granted a tariff exclusion to importers of Chinese bikes with 20-inch wheels, has denied Trek Bicycle's request for exclusions for several other items.

The U.S. Trade Representative is still assessing several other exclusion requests from Trek and other importers.

The USTR denied the Wisconsin company's requests for exclusions for children's bikes with 26-inch wheels, for frames with import value over $600, frames with import value under $600, and rims.

USTR general counsel Joseph Barloon wrote Trek that the 26-inch bike request and the over-$600 frame request were denied because "the request failed to show that the imposition of additional duties on the particular product would cause severe economic harm to you or other U.S. interests."

Regarding Trek's requests for exclusion for frames valued under $600 and for rims, Barloon wrote that the requests were denied because they "failed to show that this particular product is available only from China."

Trek's request for exclusion for bikes with 20-inch wheels was among those from several other companies and organizations that the USTR granted last week.  The industry imports about $140 million worth of 20-inch bikes from China each year.

The USTR has previously granted an exclusion, at the request of Parlee, for carbon frames valued under $600. That exclusion benefits all importers, including Trek, but applies only to carbon frames. Trek's request did not specify frame material. Non-carbon frames from China of any value remain subject to a 25% tariff imposed by the administration in September 2018, in addition to pre-existing tariffs.

Trek, and others, have asked for exclusions for bikes with 12-inch, 16-inch and 24-inch wheels. All those requests are currently at "Stage 3," which means that the USTR has determined that it makes sense to grant the exclusions, but is currently working with the Customs and Border Protection to decide if the exclusions could be administered.

The USTR also recently denied a request from AltGear, LLC for an exclusion for nylon bike bags. Previously, BRAIN has reported on USTR denials of requests from Delta, BikeCo, and Off the Front for specific exclusions. 

Trek requested a tariff exclusion for rims including its Kovee models.
Topics associated with this article: Tariffs

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