New legislative measures aim to suspend tariffs and bolster bicycle production within the United States

New legislative measures aim to suspend tariffs and bolster bicycle production within the United States

The new legislation aims to suspend tariffs and incentivize bike manufacturing in the U.S. The Domestic Bicycle Product Act proposes multiple methods to encourage brands to manufacture their bikes domestically instead of overseas.

The Current State of U.S. Bicycle Manufacturing

Cycling is immensely popular in many parts of the U.S., but manufacturing bikes locally is not as common. According to Statista, in 2022, the U.S. imported over $2.2 billion worth of bicycles while exporting only $171 million. Most imported bicycles in the U.S. come from China.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, bike manufacturers globally have struggled to balance assembly costs with quality. However, one American congressman believes he has a solution to this challenge.

Earl Blumenauer's Vision for U.S. Bike Manufacturing

Oregon congressman Earl Blumenauer aims to rejuvenate American bicycle manufacturing with the Domestic Bicycle Product Act. This Act proposes a three-pronged approach to revive U.S. bike manufacturing:

  • Tariff Suspension

Implement a 10-year suspension on tariffs for imported bicycle components like frames, wheel rims, hubs, saddles, and pedals. This measure aims to encourage bicycle assembly operations in the U.S.

  • Ebike Production Tax Credit

Introduce a tax credit to incentivize eBike manufacturers to produce their bikes domestically.

  • Low-Interest Loans

Offer 12-year, low-interest loans to bicycle manufacturers for purchasing capital equipment needed to build bikes.

Blumenauer's Advocacy for Cycling Infrastructure

Blumenauer is not new to advocating for cycling. He has spent decades promoting bike-first infrastructure, including pedestrian bridges and bike lanes across Oregon. In 1996, he founded the Congressional Bike Caucus, which has since secured over $2.25 billion in federal funding for cycling initiatives nationwide.

Inspiration from Europe's Bicycle Manufacturing Renaissance

Blumenauer drew inspiration from Europe’s bicycle manufacturing resurgence. In 2022, the E.U. produced 14.7 million bicycles, a 10% increase from 2021 and a 29% rise from the previous decade. Blumenauer attributes this success to strong trade policies and investment in manufacturing facilities.

Industry Support for the Act

U.S.-based Pivot Cycles' founder, Chris Cocalis, supports canceling import taxes on cycling components. Pivot Cycles assembles most of its bikes in Tempe, Arizona.

"Assembling bikes in the U.S. allows us to be flexible, offer more packages, and maintain our high-end brand status," Cocalis shared in an interview with Singletracks. "Import duties ranging from three to 11%, and sometimes an additional 25%, create significant financial challenges for smaller U.S.-based bike manufacturers."

The Future of the Domestic Bicycle Product Act

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The Domestic Bicycle Product Act, drafted in late February 2024, is still in its early stages. It must undergo several rounds of subcommittee and committee approvals and rewrites before a vote, which can take years.

Additionally, Blumenauer announced he will not seek reelection at the end of 2024, potentially jeopardizing the bill's future. Only time will tell if Blumenauer’s decades of cycling advocacy in Congress, including this bill, will have lasting impact after his term ends.

The Domestic Bicycle Product Act aims to transform the U.S. bike manufacturing industry by suspending tariffs, offering tax credits, and providing low-interest loans. With strong advocacy and industry support, this legislation could significantly boost domestic bike production and reduce reliance on imports.


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