PeopleForBikes Pushes for Trade Policy Relief
By: Noa Banayan, PeopleForBikes’ director of federal affairs
As Congress works towards a final, sweeping trade policy package, PeopleForBikes urges for the inclusion of tariff relief and other key programs for the bike industry.
It’s no secret that the bicycle industry’s success and ability to meet Americans’ growing demand for our products relies heavily on fair and competitive trade policy. The goals laid out in PeopleForBikes’ 2021 report, The American Bicycle Industry and U.S. Trade Policy, remain at the top of our priority list in Washington, D.C. The unprecedented demand for bicycles after the start of the pandemic coupled with ongoing supply chain issues only reinforces our industry’s call for immediate and retroactive action for trade relief.
The latest news out of Congress is promising. On February 4, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the COMPETES Act (H.R. 4521), following the Senate’s approval of the United States Innovation and Competitiveness Act (USICA, S. 1260) in June, 2021. We’ll get to why the differences in the details matter for the bike industry, but this latest move in the House shows a real commitment to the issues and getting them in front of President Biden to sign into law.
Now, select representatives from both chambers will work together through the conference process to negotiate out the differences. According to Congressional leaders, it’s possible they will have a final product by Memorial Day.
PeopleForBikes is pleased with this progress, but we’re still urging senators and representatives to uphold in conference many of the provisions included in USICA that did not make it into COMPETES. Namely, relief to address the growing weight of Section 301 tariffs, adjustments to unfair de minimis standards and renewals expirations of the Miscellaneous Tariffs Bill (MTB) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
After the House’s vote on COMPETES, we sent a letter outlining our specific concerns and requests for a final bill. Those requests include:
- Section 301 relief in the form of immediate reinstatement for all prior exclusions with retroactive recovery and a fair and transparent ongoing exclusion process. Bicycles and bicycle products have been subject to additional Section 301 tariffs despite having little to no domestic manufacturing capacity.
- GSP renewal for longer than three years. Bicycle companies need more long-term stability and security in the GSP program if they are to make manufacturing and reshoring investments in developing countries.
- Exclusion of a finished goods limitation under the MTB. This limitation would exclude bicycle components from the process, which have been recommended for tariff relief under MTBs for many years. Tariff relief for components supports more domestic assembly and production.
- Trade fairness under de minimis threshold by ensuring non-market economies and goods pay the same duties as bicycle manufacturers and other large industries.
As both chambers work through the conference process, we’ll continue to meet with and encourage representatives in Congress to prioritize these provisions in the final bill. We’ll keep the industry updated as soon as there’s news to share.
You can help by calling on your senators and representatives to take action on these issues: