Brussels based FEMA, the European Federation of Motorcyclist Associations, is lobbying the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, to take motorcycle parts off a list of American made products that could attract up to 100% tariffs when exported into the EU.
|European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström|
At the time of writing it is unclear whether Malmström's proposal is to hit parts for American made motorcycle parts specifically, as FEMA suggests or, as appears to be suggested by the inclusion of parts for mopeds as well as larger displacement machines, American made parts for any motorcycle brand.
This latest spat stems from the end March 2019 World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling that the USA had given benefits to their airplane industry (Boeing), with an estimated damage to the EU airplane industry (Airbus) of $12 billion.
The EU is therefore now considering countermeasures to the USA for the same sum and has published a list with products that will be charged with extra custom duties of up to 100%. The list contains (amongst many others) several motorcycle parts categories:
The European Commission has been holding a public consultation, slated to end 31 May 2019.
FEMA's position is that "trade wars should not be fought at the expense of motorcyclists and those who are working in the motorcycle market. In this particular case there are enough possibilities to charge other products in the aircraft sector with extra customs. As before, we will inform Commissioner Malmström of our position and demand that motorcycle parts will be stricken of the list."
Dolf Willigers, FEMA General Secretary, said: "Again the European Commission is involving motorcyclists in their disputes with the US administration. We have no part in this and we see no reason why European motorcyclists and people working in the motorcycle trade should be punished in a dispute about support to the aircraft industry.
"Owners of US brand motorcycles have no choice when they have to replace parts of their motorcycle and will this way be forced to pay a much higher price. This measure really goes beyond all limits."