|CONTACT: Nicole Tieman, 202-225-5101|
|WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner and Gwen Moore sent a letter to Office of the United States Trade Representative Chairman William L. Busis urging him to remove certain motorcycles from the tariffs being proposed on the European Union, which would have detrimental impacts on small-and-medium sized U.S. businesses that sell such motorcycles:
Dear Mr. Busis:
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is currently seeking comments in connection with a request from representatives of the U.S. beef industry to reinstate certain retaliatory actions against the European Union (EU) pursuant to Section 306(c) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. Included in the list of products under consideration for the imposition of increased duties are motorcycles, including mopeds, over 50 cubic centimeters of engine displacement, but not over 500 cubic centimeters from the EU (HTS 87112000 and 87113000). We write today to share our concerns that imposing retaliatory duties against these types of motorcycles would harm the U.S. domestic motorcycle industry, as well as small- and medium-business dealers across the United States and in our state of Wisconsin.
We are aware that three of the largest U.S. motorcycle manufacturers – including the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, which is headquartered and manufactures in Wisconsin – have voiced their concerns with such tariffs. We are similarly concerned that motorcycles should not be used as leverage in a trade dispute over agricultural issues, given such an action is unlikely to be effective in resolving the underlying issue. Furthermore, we are concerned that levying retaliatory tariffs against European motorcycles in this dispute could increase the chance of retaliatory actions against Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any future trade dispute, including disputes completely unrelated to motorcycles.
Finally, we are very concerned with the impact such tariffs could have on small- and medium-sized businesses that carry these motorcycles, including dealers located in Wisconsin, as well motorcycle consumer and enthusiast communities across the United States. We understand such an action would threaten well over 4,000 jobs at dealerships across the United States.
While USTR has the authority and duty to impose retaliatory tariffs against countries that fail to abide by their World Trade Organization obligations, we ask that your agency give heavy weight to the views of U.S. domestic industry and affected small businesses and decline to impose increased duties on motorcycles and mopeds from Europe.
Member of Congress
F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Member of Congress