The Department for International Trade (DIT) has officially confirmed that it is keeping EU anti-dumping rules on cheap bikes from China and several other countries following the end of the Brexit transition period, although it says that the measures will be reviewed at some point and may be dropped if it is not felt that they are “appropriate to the UK.”
In early December, we reported how the DIT had confirmed to trade body the Bicycle Association (BA) that it had decided against scrapping the anti-dumping measures on bicycles and e-bikes made in China, which were first introduced by the EU in 1993 and currently impose a 48.5 per cent tariff.
The BA welcomed what it described as the “certainty” afforded by the continuation of the measures, which are aimed at preventing Chinese manufacturers from flooding the market with cheap bikes, to the detriment of local manufacturers and jobs, as well as bringing concerns over safety standards.
On New Year’s Eve, the DIT published a ‘Notice of determination’ on its website in which it confirmed that international trade secretary Liz Truss had determined that “the anti-dumping duty on bicycles and certain bicycle parts originating in the People’s Republic of China (including bicycles consigned from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tunisia)” – countries that Chinese manufacturers had used to try and circumvent the measures – would be “transitioned,” that is, brought within the UK’s trade remedies system.
“This determination follows a Call for Evidence conducted by the Department for International Trade to identify anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the EU it would be appropriate to transition in the United Kingdom (UK) system,” the DIT continued.
“The identified trade remedies measure will be transitioned so it will continue to apply when the UK begins operating an independent trade remedies system. This is once the UK ceases to apply the EU’s Common External Tariff, unless this notice is revoked, or the EU terminates the measure before the UK begins operating an independent trade remedies system.”
However, the DIT added that it will review the anti-dumping measure to assess whether it is “appropriate to the UK.”
It said: “The Trade Remedies Authority (or pending establishment, the Secretary of State) will assess whether the measure is necessary or sufficient to prevent or remove injury to UK industry and whether there would be injury to UK industry if it were no longer applied.”
Last month, when the BA confirmed that the DIT had told it that it planned to keep the existing EU measures, there was no hint that they would be reviewed.
There doesn’t seem to be any immediate prospect of another U-turn on the issue by the government, although it does leave the door open for a reversal of policy in the future, for example if the UK were pressured into dropping the anti-dumping measures as part of the negotiation of any future trade deal with China.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.