China Tarrifs and Seattle E-Bike
Effective yesterday, the United States has imposed a 25% tariff on Chinese manufactured E-Bikes. This will likely impact our industry considerably, especially if the tariff remains in place, and is not just a negotiating tool, which it may be. If not, the companies that largely rely on Chinese production to offer entry level E-Bikes will have to raise their prices.
A July 17 Seattle Times Article extensively quoted Mike Radenbaugh, one of the owners of Rad Power bikes, which is the mega supplier of Chinese E-bikes to the U.S. Mike indicated that there was no US E-Bike industry to protect. That is not exactly correct.
Seattle E-Bike has been selling US made bikes for 5 years. They are of superb quality, and now, those companies will have a chance to grow, as they are no longer competing with the government of China, and sweatshop working conditions.
We electrify Volcanic Bikes. You may notice them around, you can't miss, them, every Seattle Bike Patrol officer rides one. For a good reason. They advertise they make "the toughest bikes on earth" quite a claim, but this author inadvertently tested that on a rain hidden six inch deep pothole. I flew over 25 feet and fractured my skull. The Volcanic was perfectly fine. Not even a bent rim or broken spoke. I broke, the Volcanic did not. It is the toughest bike in the world, IMHO, and now they can flourish. A picture of the Volcanic is below. I will spare you the X-rays. I was very lucky. Miraculously, I am smarter than ever.
Vintage Electric is also a US build. Like the Volcanic, you can see it in the welds, the quality components, and so much more. Our customers love their retro look, their superb components, and their speed.
Rad Power's owner is also not exactly accurate when he states that no innovation is going on in this industry. In fact, an amazing amount is going on in this industry. Now we will see more, as the innovators thrive, having less fierce competition from a nation known for stealing others' innovations.
Rad Power is correct that Europe is the center of the quality E-Bike industry. That is why Seattle E-Bike carries them, most of our bikes are from Estonia, France, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy. We used to sell a lot of Emazing bikes. They were made in Taiwan. They shifted production to China, and quality deteriorated, so we closed them out. We have another Chinese line, but we have been closing them out as well.
It is true that having some components from China is unavoidable. It is simply too dominant in certain areas. We source the best components we can find, and the ones we use, we are happy with. Certain components will be subject to the 25% duty, others not. They are a small enough part of the value of our products, that we do not anticipate any significant price moves.
Join the flight to quality, stop by Seattle E-Bike and see what innovation is all about. We are now open until 7 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.