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Canadian retail group continues lobby for tariff elimination

Published November 19, 2014

OTTAWA, Ontario (BRAIN) — Bill Yetman, executive director of the Canadian Independent Bicycle Retailers Association, penned a letter to the country's finance minister this week, asking that the government eliminate duties and tariffs on bicycles in Canada.

In the letter, Yetman noted that the Canadian International Trade Tribunal last fall rescinded a ruling protecting bicycle manufacturers in Canada following the closure of Raleigh’s factory in Quebec—the last supplier handling large-scale production in Canada. The ruling, which went into effect Sept. 30, 2013, effectively sought to withdraw the anti-dumping duties on bikes imported from China and Taiwan.

“To be clear, it is the view of the CITT that there is no longer significant bicycle manufacturing in Canada to warrant trade protections,” Yetman wrote. “…in the absence of a robust manufacturing base that might be protected, the continuance of these tariffs amounts to no more than a regressive tax on Canadian cycling consumers and the independent businesses who serve them. At a time when Canadian small businesses contend with increased competition from vendors south of the border and online, this added strain on their bottom line has serious consequences for individual small businesses, and creates a chilling effect on sales across our industry generally.”

“Canada’s independent bicycle retailers have been outspoken on this issue: import tariffs are hurting their business. As long as the tariffs continue, they are an impediment to Canada’s bicycle industry,” the letter stated.

The Canadian government ran a pilot program last year that eliminated duties on certain sporting goods equipment, including hockey gear, but the program didn’t include bikes.

Complete bikes from Taiwan and China are assessed a 13 percent duty. Importers pay a 5 percent duty on frames and 6.5 percent on wheels. 

CIBRA is prompting its members to send letters in support of the tariff elimination. “This is the most traction we’ve seen on this issue even though it’s been at the top of our agenda for a long time,” said Eben Holmes, communications and marketing manager for CIBRA.

Topics associated with this article: Trade/tariffs

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