Chinese Carbon Frames Granted US Tariff Exemption

Bicycle Retailer is reporting that after a successful request by Massachusetts-based road bike brand Parlee Cycles, a tariff exemption has been granted on carbon bicycle frames imported to the US from China.

As a result of this exemption, the tariff for the carbon frames has now been returned to 3.9% and importers of carbon bike frames up to a value of US$600 from China will not have to pay the 25% tariff placed on imports under Section 301. Additionally, importers can request reimbursement for the additional tariffs they have paid since they were first imposed in September 2018.

According to the Bicycle Retailer article, this is the second exclusion to be granted by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for bike industry products. The other exclusion granted was for singlespeed road bikes, at the request of State Bicycle. The bike industry had filed 94 requests by the time the USTR closed the filing window on September 30.

"There is most definitely hope that additional exclusion requests will be granted, and we are optimistic that the successful applications so far bode well for the consideration of additional applications filed by our industry," said Alex Logemann, PeopleForBikes' policy counsel. "All other exclusion requests for bicycle products are still in Stage 2 of the process, which means they are undergoing their initial substantive review. It will be a very good sign if any of these requests advance to Stage 3, where they are reviewed for whether the exclusion can be administered by Customs and Border Protection."

In its request for exclusion, Parlee noted that, "Domestic manufacturing of these frames is cost-prohibitive." The company also said it had hired a consultant to study the viability of third-country factories but "the startup costs to move to a new manufacturer outside of China are prohibitive at this time." It said passing the costs of the tariffs on to the consumer "is not an option."