AMA Fights Tariff Hike on Euro Cycles

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The American Motorcyclist Association has written to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative opposing a plan that could double the cost of some European motorcycles imported into the United States.

The plan trade officials are considering would impose a 100 percent import duty on more than 100 European goods -- including two engine displacement categories of motorcycles, 51cc to 250cc, and 251cc to 500cc.

The AMA says the U.S. measure is designed as retaliation to the 27-member European Union's continuing import ban on American beef treated with growth hormones. EU officials haven't lifted that 20-year-old ban, despite a World Trade Organization (WTO) order to end it. The United States wants to impose $116.8 million in import duties to equal the amount of money it claims the U.S. beef industry loses each year because of the ban.

If U.S. officials impose the retaliatory tariff, it would double the price of a host of under-500cc on- and off-highway machines from brands such as Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husaberg, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.

"There is no logical link between European motorcycles and the dispute over beef," said Ed Moreland, AMA VP for government relations, in his comments submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. "Imposing these stiff tariffs on motorcycles would do nothing to resolve the trade dispute, but would punish American buyers of European motorcycles."

"A 100 percent ad valorem, or higher, tariff on these motorcycles will cause serious and potentially irreversible harm to American small- and medium-sized business owners selling the vehicles,” Moreland said.