Where’s The Beef? In The Small-Displacement Motorcycle Market As It Turns Out
Tariff Increase on Beef Threatens Low- to Mid-Range CC Marketsby TJ Hinton, on
The Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR), in its ongoing battle with the E.U over beef trade, is attempting, once again, to impose a substantial tariff hike on motorcycles between 50 cc and 500 cc, among other sundry items to include the offal of said animals and even plant matter. It’s not really about motorcycles, but the USTR is trying to use motorcycles as a tit-for-tat in its battle with the E.U. to try to gain the upper hand — if they don’t play nice, hit ’em where it hurts, so to speak. The White House tried this same move back in 2008, but it was defeated and laid aside. Apparently, someone at the USTR thinks the current political atmosphere is conducive to passage this time around, and so the thing has been pulled off the shelf and trotted out yet again.
Continue reading for more information on the tariff proposal.
What Does It Mean?
Right. So I’ve tried to stay above the political fray, but when I learned about this little bit of delightfulness I felt compelled to speak up. To be fair, this isn’t necessarily a partisan piece; it’s still in the proposal phase and the incoming administration has yet to weigh in, so I will just lay out the facts for you as I understand them at this point.
Visit the regulations.gov site to voice your disapproval of this battle-for-the-upper-hand using what has been a growing low- to mid-range motorcycle market...
What we are looking at here, folks, is an up to — and maybe over — a 100-percent increase in the tariff currently being levied against the 50-to-500 cc bracket. It won’t affect the Asian manufacturers (yet), but it will have an impact on our European trade partners and even American businesses here at home. Let’s examine this.
Pricing is very competitive, and it doesn’t take much to upset the apple cart, so affected models will suffer from a loss in sales. Manufacturers may decide that it isn’t worth the hassle, and cease exports to the U.S market of those models, or even their entire lineup. Reduced sales have a tendency to eliminate jobs as factories downsize, so this will have an impact at the family level overseas. What about American families you say? They’ll be affected too, because it’s American-based dealerships that these units are destined for and American buyers. How many mom-and-pop Euro Scooter dealerships will fold when they can no longer fill their showrooms due to overpricing? This will also affect the entry-level, commuter and family-recreation sector — areas of the market that frequently fall within this bracket — that will be hard hit when these economical, budget-oriented two-wheelers are priced out of our market because of the tariff increase.
Also, let’s ask ourselves which Americans this benefits. With Victory out of the picture, there are only two major American builders left— Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles — and only H-D makes a single model within this bracket with its Street 500. Boosting sales on this entry-level, non-traditional Harley will hardly make America great again. Just sayin’. I would caution the Asian manufacturers from enjoying too much shadenfeude at Europe’s expense. If you guys think this can’t happen to you, I have some land for sale in Florida, and it only gets wet twice a day.
Wanna help? Visit the regulations.gov site to voice your disapproval of this battle-for-the-upper-hand using what has been a growing low- to mid-range motorcycle market and encompasses nearly all the scooter market in a trade war that really hurts both sides. Lest you get lost in all the blah-blah-blah, scroll down to the ANNEX I section, and note the bottom two items on the list — 50-to-250 cc motorcycles and 250-to-500 cc motorcycles — then ask yourselves what beef has to do with motorcycles. Click the "Comment Now" button at the top of that page to voice your disapproval.
Source: regulations.gov EU-Beef