A bit of a reprieve has been granted from tariffs on certain carbon bicycle frames - up to a landed, wholesale value of $600 imported from China to the USA, Bicycle Retailer
Bikes and components from China are currently subject to 25% tariffs and this has started to affect the bottom lines of cycling companies
so it will be welcome news for the industry.
This latest exemption was requested by Parlee Cycles, a road bike brand, and will apply to frames alone, not frames as part of complete bikes, until August 7th, 2020. Parlee currently manufactures its Altum framesets ($4299 USD retail for frame and fork) in China and argued that manufacturing the frames in America or the startup costs of moving to a manufacturer outside of China would be prohibitive. It also claimed that passing on the costs of the tariffs to the consumers was "not an option." Finally, it claimed that there was no danger of China acquiring a new technology it does not possess so carbon bike frames are not of "strategic importance." This was enough to convince the U.S. Trade Representative to return the tariff back down to 3.9% as part of its latest round of exclusions.
This exemption is the second that has been granted, with the first being to single speed road bikes. There are 94 further requests for tariff exemptions currently requested by the bike industry so it is hoped that more exclusions will follow. Other tariff exemption requests currently under review include one from Trek on all frames of any material and at any price and another from PeopleForBikes, on behalf of the industry, to request for all frames valued under $600 to be exempt.
With the U.S. Trade Representative clearly willing to make concessions on tariffs on cycling goods entering the USA, hopefully, this is a sign that the expected impact of the trade war on consumers will not be as bad as first thought. We'll keep you updated with further news on tariffs and any relevant exemptions as we get it.