Leva

TRA finds scrapping e-bike tariffs could save UK £51m per year

9 days ago

4 minutes

Source TRA – The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) has published its initial findings recommending that anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures on electric bicycles (e-bikes) from China should be revoked. 

Following the transition reviews of the measures, the TRA found that keeping them in place would not be in the economic interest of the UK. Revoking the measures could:

  • benefit the UK economy by an average of £51m per year;
  • save consumers an average of £260 per e-bike; and
  • result in an average of 31,000 more e-bikes being bought per year in the UK.

Sales of e-bikes in the UK reached an estimated £325 million in 2023, compared with £96 million in 2018, and are expected to grow further in the coming years. Although it is likely that dumping and subsidisation of Chinese e-bikes would likely recur if the measures were no longer applied and that the UK production industry would suffer some injury, it was found that this injury did not outweigh the benefits to the UK economy or consumers if the measures were revoked.

TRA Chief Executive Oliver Griffiths said:We always assess the impact of a trade remedy measure on the UK economy. Our interim conclusion is that the benefits to UK bicycle producers from continuing the current measures on e-bikes would be significantly outweighed by harm to the rest of the economy. We project that removing the measures could save consumers around £260 per e-bike and could benefit the UK economy by around £51 million annually.

Alternative options

Under the UK’s revised trade remedies regime, if the TRA finds that a measure is not in the economic interest of the UK, it offers the Secretary of State for Business and Trade alternative options to revoking the measures.

These alternative options included only applying the measures to folding e-bikes as UK producers are more heavily concentrated in this market. A period of consultation is now open for on all of the options presented, after which the TRA will make its final recommendation to the Secretary of State.

As part of these reviews, for the first time, the TRA conducted a consumer survey as part of its assessment of how measures on these imports would affect the overall UK economy. The survey targeted e-bike customers and helped the TRA assess consumer sensitivity to e-bike prices. 

Businesses that may be affected by the reviews (such as importers or exporters of the products or UK producers of similar products) can now comment on the initial findings via the TRA’s online case platform. They can also stay up to date with developments in each case, which will be posted on the TRA’s public files.

Following Article 21 of the Basic Regulation, the EU Commission also has a legal duty to determine whether it’s in the interest of the whole EU Community. “(…) whether the Community interest calls for intervention shall be based on an appreciation of all the various interests as a whole, including the interests of the domestic industry and users and consumers; (…) Measures, as determined on the basis of the dumping and the injury found, may not be applied where the authorities, on the basis of all the information submitted, can clearly conclude that it is not in the Community interest to apply such measures.

LEVA-EU has already raised the issue of Community interest with the Commission, given the enormous difficulties and damage caused by trade defense measures to EU companies and the wider implications for sustainable mobility and public health.

If the Commission would be willing to test the Community interest in this year’s reviews, with the same thoroughness as TRA applied in the Economic Interest Test, there is a very good chance that the measures will also prove to cause much more damage to the EU than the benefits they bring to those few EU manufacturers who continue to defend the measures through thick and thin.

. If the Commission would be willing to test the Community interest in this year’s reviews, with the same thoroughness as TRA applied in the Economic Interest Test, there is a very good chance that the measures will also prove to cause much more damage to the EU than the benefits they bring to those few EU manufacturers who continue to defend the measures through thick and thin.

Photo by James Giddins on Unsplash

Annick Roetynck

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

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