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Hubs and sprockets included in Trump's threatened EU tariffs

Published April 15, 2019

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Some hubs and sprockets would be among the $11.5 billion in goods subject to retaliatory tariffs of up to 100% proposed by the Trump administration.

Alloy hubs, three-speed hubs, and freewheel sprockets for bikes, as well as other non-defined hubs for bicycle and motorcycle use, are included in the tariffs proposed Section 301 action related to dispute over aid to private aviation companies.

The U.S. imported $3.74 million of products under those headings from the EU last year. Because the list includes an import code that applies to hubs for bicycle and motorcycles, it's impossible to say exactly how many of the imports were for bicycles. A list of 2018 imports under those codes, from EU countries, is attached.

The list of proposed tariffs was published in the Federal Register on Friday. It includes a wide range of consumer and industrial products, including wine, olive oil, tools, ski suits, and some complete motorcycles.

Trump threatened the tariffs in a tweet last Tuesday, referring to a World Trade Organization ruling made last May, which found that Airbus had received illegal subsidies from European countries, and gave the U.S. the right to impose retaliatory tariffs. 

The dispute involves similar players and themes but is not strictly speaking related to a more recent development: The WTO ruled last month that Boeing had received illegal tax breaks in the U.S., giving the EU the right to impose sanctions on U.S. imports.

Likewise, the proposal to put tariffs on EU bike hubs and other goods is not strictly related to negotiations between the U.S. and the EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which Trump pulled out of. EU ministers have said they want to resume talks with the U.S. about a revised TTIP, although some European countries oppose negotiations because of the adminstration's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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Topics associated with this article: Tariffs

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