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Blumenauer's new bill seeks to invigorate US bike manufacturing

Published June 6, 2024

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Congressional bike advocate Earl Blumenauer's newest bill is aimed at rejuvenating U.S. bike manufacturing.

Blumenauer, Oregon's Democratic representative who is founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, introduced The Domestic Bicycle Production Act this week. The legislation has three parts:

  • Institute a 10-year tariff suspension on component imports — like electric motors, frames, rims, hubs, brakes, saddles, pedals, gears, etc. — to incentivize U.S. assembly.
  • Create a transferrable e-bike production tax credit for U.S. manufactured bikes to encourage companies to utilize domestic manufacturing.
  • Establish a U.S. Bicycle and E-Bicycle Manufacturing Initiative to make low-interest, 12-year loans to purchase capital equipment toward establishing or increasing capacity of domestic manufacturing facilities.

"Domestic manufacturing is the missing piece of the bike revolution," Blumenauer said in a statement announcing the legislation. "My legislation would give bike manufacturers the foothold they need to establish a thriving industry here in the United States."

He noted how Europe has expanded bike manufacturing with the European Union encouraging it through a combination of trade policies and investing in manufacturing facilities.

Blumenauer's bill comes after the U.S. Trade Representative's office recently announced that exclusions from the Section 301 tariffs imposed by the Trump administration — after being extended several times — will be allowed to expire. Importers of Chinese-made e-bikes, juvenile bikes and some other bike products will be responsible for an additional 25% tariff on those products starting June 14.

Domestic bike assemblers currently pay import tariffs of roughly 6-11% on parts and frames from most countries. Some parts from China are subject to the additional 25% on top of those. Eliminating the tariff on parts bound for bike assembly (as opposed to aftermarket sale), would make U.S. bike assembly more viable financially.

After serving as Oregon's 3rd Congressional District for 27 years, Blumenauer, 75, announced In October that he will not seek re-election this year.

Topics associated with this article: Tariffs, Electric bike

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