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Donald Trump agrees to hold off imposing further tariffs on Chinese cycling imports to US

Existing additional tariffs that are hitting US bicycle industry hard will stay, however

US President Donald Trump has agreed with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, not to introduce further tariffs on Chinese imposts to the country worth $300 billion, including on cycling-related products not already subject to additional tariffs.

Trade publication Bicycle Retailer says that the pair reached agreement for the US not to impose further tariffs during a meeting at the weekend’s G20 summit in Osaks, Japan.

Products that would have been affected include cycle helmets and lights – previously excluded from tariffs for safety reasons – as well as balance bikes and certain components and accessories on which additional tariffs have previously been imposed.

Bicycle Retailer added that imposition of further tariffs on those categories of goods had been vigorously opposed by the US bicycle industry.

Trump confirmed however that earlier tariffs would remain in force – including a 25 per cent additional tariff on goods including bicycles imposed in May which led the chairwoman of Giant Bicycles, the world’s biggest bike manufacturer, says that the “made in China” era is over.

As we reported last month, the company, which sells more than 6 million bicycles a year, had already closed one factory in China and as a result of the latest additional tariffs has decided to produce bikes for the US market elsewhere.

Last month, Arnold Kamler, the CEO and chairman of the second largest bike manufacturer in the US, New Jersey-based Kent International, likened the additional tariffs to “a punch in the gut."

He said that an existing additional tariff of 10 per cent had caused the company’s costs to rise by 7.5 per cent with sales falling by 5 per cent and that the latest hike would mean another increase in prices to consumers.

"While there are disputes that need to be resolved between our countries on trade, I'm wondering why our company is the one having to pay the price for this," he added.

Concerns were also expressed by Bob Megvicius, a director of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and vice-president of Specialized.

"We are concerned coming into the Christmas and the holiday season that this can hurt business,” he said.

He added that 90 per cent of US bicycle imports annually originate in China – some 14-15 million units – but due to tariffs, 450,000 fewer bicycles were imported to the country in the first quarter of 2019.

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.

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