On Wednesday, March 23, the US Trade Representative's office reinstated over 350 expired product tariff exclusions that includes affected bike products coming from China. Since January 1, 2021, the US government has imposed a 25% tariff on items such as certain types of helmets, children's bikes, certain bike frames, and most importantly for this crowd- electric bicycles.
The reinstatement of the tariff exclusions will backdate to October 12, 2021. This means that any product that has arrived since then will not be subject to the 25% US Section 301 tariff that was imposed by former President Donald Trump.
What Does This Mean for the American E-bike Industry
With inflation, delays in shipping, and tariffs, the electric bike industry has seen routine cost increases both on the manufacturer and consumer side. While it is too early to determine if prices will decrease and when, it is almost certain that Chinese manufacturers will take advantage of the cheaper export costs so be prepared to see new factory-direct from China brands, specifically on the low end, pop up in your advertisements soon. It will be important for consumers to do extensive research on any great deals they see from companies they are not familiar with.
With China-based companies manufacturing more on their own and going direct, this could also make the current shortage of certain ebike parts worse for the American-based companies who use the same components in their bikes.
Companies like Espin Bikes, who use many proprietary parts, such as an Espin-branded motor and display, should be unaffected by these new rounds of shortages.
One thing is for sure - the electric bike industry is about to get busy! With nice weather around the corner, it's a great time to start shopping for your ebike - be sure to sign up for emailing lists and SMS text notifications to ensure you don't miss out on any upcoming deals.
The new tariff exclusion is set to expire at the end of this year, December 31, 2022 unless extended. 352 of the 549 eligible exclusions were reinstated but not all of them, you can read the notice in full here.