Bicyclists, store owners worried tariffs will hit them hard next

Published: Aug. 10, 2018 at 10:34 PM CDT
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The federal government is proposing increasing the tariff on most bicycles, products and accessories by 10 percent.

"It's almost everything else, it's helmets it's parts, it's frames, it's raw materials and things that like that," said Chad Pickard, owner of Spoke-n-Sport in Sioux Falls and Brookings.

Pickard said businesses like his will ride out the increases. But many of the dozens of items on the preliminary list aren't currently tariffed.

"The sad part is that a lot of people right now are looking for other ways to move around the city," Pickard said.

A tariff increase could raise the import costs up to 25 percent on some items -- costing the industry and its riders hundreds of millions of dollars.

"The bike is something that could be used for all sorts of things for stress relief, travel, commuting, exercise and you don't have to pay fees to do it," Pickard said. "You can just get out and ride from anywhere so it's such a great thing to do and with tariffs, it's really going to hurt."

On Tuesday -- the Trump administration finalized a new round of tariffs on another $16 billion dollars worth of imports from China -- including a 25 percent tariff that will affect electric bikes.

"One of the bad things about it, is currently in the states there's not any competition," Pickard said. "There's no one building electric motors for electric bikes."

Pickard said bikes are about an $88 billion dollar industry. This first round of tariffs could potentially raise prices on E-bikes from $600 - $1000 dollars and affect thousands of employees and businesses in the meantime.

"That even employs over 750,000 people in over 16,000 retailers and so that's just this next tariff," Pickard.

The first round of tariffs will on electric bikes goes into effect on Aug. 23. Pickard said there lots of resources to reach out to your lawmakers and tell them to reject tariffs on the bicycle industry.

You can find a link to a way to get in touch with lawmakers under "Related Links."