LEVA-EU Gears Up to Counter European Commission’s Review of Trade Defence Measures against Electric Cycles from China

96 days ago

4 minutes

In a widely anticipated move, the European Commission has officially granted EBMA’s request to review the trade defence measures against electric cycles from China, with a view to an extension of 5 years. The basis for this request is, entirely as expected, the fact that the expiry of the measures would be likely to result in continuation of dumping and recurrence of injury to the Union Industry. LEVA-EU is gearing to respond. The organization warns for the potential impact of 5 more years of measures on European companies and is mobilizing efforts to address the serious concerns arising from the potential extension.

The European Bicycle Manufacturers Association’s (EBMA) request for an extension comes from only one faction of the so-called Union Industry. Another segment of that Industry, along with numerous European companies assembling electric cycles outside both Europe and China, are already experiencing significant adverse effects from the existing measures. Some businesses have already effectively succumbed to these measures, which demonstrates the tangible and widespread damage inflicted upon the industry.

In response, LEVA-EU plans to establish an ad hoc group for companies that are assembling their electric cycles within the EU or outside the EU and China, and are suffering substantial harm from the measures. It has long been clear that the focus of the EBMA is less on preventing dumping and injury recurrence, than on fostering protectionism, primarily led by a few large groups within the EU.

All this is happening under the guise that the trade defence measures will result in return of production to Europe, which in turn will result in the creation of millions (sic) of jobs. Both EBMA and the Commission are of course wisely silent about the fact that trade defence legislation, by its nature, is not designed with the goal of reshoring industries nor fostering job creation. Let alone that they care at all about the jobs that have already disappeared in the EU due to the measures.

The current measures disproportionately impact mainly smaller entrepreneurs, who inadvertently fall victim to the immense complexity of the legislation. That complexity is partly due to the interweaving between the measures against the electric cycles with the measures on essential bicycle components. LEVA-EU also raises concerns about EBMA not shying away from providing companies with incorrect legal information, which raises serious questions about integrity.

A potential 5-year extension of the trade defence measures is predicted to exacerbate the challenges faced by many more European companies, leading to reduced supply, which will in turn lead to significant job losses in the retail sector. It will also lead to increased prices, and a stifling of innovation. LEVA-EU emphasizes that the measures primarily serve the interest of a few large groups, who are merely interested in safeguarding their big cash cow, i.e. the electric bicycle with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W.

The consequences extend beyond the financial burden on European citizens, to include countless European companies that are now or will soon come under fire. Moreover, the measures prevent many more European companies to enter the market, since a new company in the EU cannot start up unless it pays anti-dumping duties for an indefinite period, without any prospect of any refund.

Last year the European Union had the dubious honour of commemorating 30 years (!) of anti-dumping measures against conventional bicycles from China. This “milestone” prompts questions about the effectiveness of European trade defence measures and the resilience of the “Union Industry”. The measures against electric bicycles will never last 30 years, because by then the electric bicycle sector will simply have been wiped off the map, thanks to the so-called “Union Industry” and EBMA. That is precisely why it is important that at least someone tries to provide some resistance. Five more years of trade defence measures on electric cycles from China will never foster an environment conducive to fair competition, innovation and sustainable growth of the sector in Europe.

Annick Roetynck,
LEVA-EU Manager

Below are the links to relevant Commission publications in the Official Journal:

Annick Roetynck

Annick is the Manager of LEVA-EU, with decades of experience in two-wheeled and light electric mobility.

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