PeopleforBikes (PFB) remained on the job, reporting changes to Section 301 tariffs before the long Memorial Day weekend and identifying the key items that could worsen the tariff situation for bike and bike accessory importers.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a Federal Register Notice concerning the Section 301 tariff action on China earlier last week. On May 22, the trade group reported there remained ambiguity on what the preliminary announcement meant for existing bike products with exclusions from Section 301 tariffs, specifically whether the “May 31 deadline for ending all current exclusions on ‘covered products’ included e-bikes, children’s bikes, bike trailers, and other products,” the trade association for the bike industry wrote in a letter to members.

However, by Friday afternoon, May 24, PfB said there was little good news for the bicycle industry when USTR announced the fate of the Section 301 tariff exclusions scheduled to expire on May 31. PFB reported that all exclusions were extended to June 14, 2024, as a “transition period.” Exclusions for bike trailers and some bicycle helmets were extended to June 1, 2025.

PeopleForBikes said it continues to work with Congress and the Biden Administration to understand the intent of the action better and advance more favorable trade policy for the U.S. cycling industry. The initial notice also reportedly announced:

  • An additional 25 percent tariff on lithium-ion batteries imported from China which will go into effect on January 1, 2026
  • Compounding tariffs on a range of steel, stainless steel and aluminum products that will go into effect on August 1, 2024

The Federal Register Notice includes a complete list of the HTS codes for products that will be added to the Section 301 tariff action.

PFB said the only “potential good news” is that a new exclusion process and comment period for a range of machinery used in manufacturing had been included in the notice, and there was an opportunity to request that other machinery be added to the proposed exclusions. Companies with domestic production capacity and those that use machinery imported from China could submit a comment by the June 28 deadline.

“Since the Section 301 tariffs began seven years ago, PeopleForBikes has been working tirelessly for more than seven years alongside our members to secure an estimated $600 million in savings through tariff exclusions on a majority of bicycle products,” the association wrote in a release. “We will continue working on behalf of our coalition members for stronger, more favorable trade policies in Washington, D.C., doubling our efforts to pass a retroactive reauthorization of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and de minimis reform. Increasing tariffs on domestic importers and manufacturers without providing incentives to shift production from China and closing the loophole that allows direct-to-consumer imports from China is unfair and places American companies and consumers at risk.”

Image courtesy PFB