Understanding US Tariffs and the Bike Industry
On this special edition of the Shift Up podcast, we take the opportunity to speak with Matt Moore, General Counsel at Quality Bicycle Products, about the headlining topic of the proposed tariffs which are positioned to inevitably impact the United States bicycling industry.
As many in & around the cycling world have likely heard, the industry is on the brink of another round of import tariffs that will increase the cost of imported goods used to build bikes sold here in the US, an action that many fear will make electric bikes unaffordable. Matt is an attorney & General Counsel member for QBP with over 20 years of experience who offers his expert opinion on this trending issue to help set expectations on what the cycling industry can & should expect in the days ahead.
While Matt points out that many of the details & the exact impact around these tariffs are somewhat unknown, he shares a brief background about the nature of the tariffs, the understood extent of the impact & what the industry here in the states can do to prepare for it. Showing that the tariffs are intended to increase the cost of certain imported goods for the purpose of protecting & promoting domestic goods (by keeping US goods more competitive), Matt points out that the problem comes to light when we realize that most bikes are assembled of hundreds of parts, many of which are not made here in the US. This inevitably means that those parts must be imported from outside the US...but now at a potentially higher cost. With proposed increases of 25%, this could have a serious impact on the cost of certain bicycling products sold here in the states. While goods like aluminum have already felt the impact of the recent tariffs, proposed increases on additional goods are scheduled for July, including GPS devices & ball bearings, which will again spill over into the cycling industry through increased costs.
Matt looks to answer the questions around what can be done to avoid or minimize this impact. Many people in the bicycle industry have expressed interesting in seeing the US make serious strides towards manufacturing the bulk of the components in the continental US (a strategy aimed at keeping the cost of goods more affordable), as Matt explains, that process would be long & arduous at best, forcing many to look for other ways to absorb or avoid the impact of the increases. However, due to the nature of the legal process & the hearings that must be held around such propositions, Matt notes that it is most effective & impactful to take the conversation to our local officials who can echo the voice of consumers, retailers & manufacturers to the lawmakers at the center of the issue.
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