Seattle e-bikes hit by Trump tariffs
Starting today, all Chinese-made parts for electric bicycles will be taxed 25 percent.
And that's bad news for RAD Power Bikes in Ballard.
It makes e-bikes from Chinese parts.
RAD co-founder Ty Collins said these trade tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump will hurt his bottom line.
Collins said the tariffs may be intended to encourage domestic manufacturing, but he expects that will backfire.
"The thing is the U.S. has literally never in its history had an infrastructure to manufacture electric bikes," Collins said.
Last year was a banner year for e-bikes, with $77 million in U.S. sales -- nearly double from the year before.
Collins said RAD Power grew 750 percent last year, and the company is still hiring.
But to pay for the tariffs, RAD is raising the price on all of its bikes starting Thursday.
RAD Power is applying for a tariff exemption, but Collins isn't holding out hope.
"It's almost like we're kids watching their parents fight and there's really nothing we can do about it,” he said.
E-bikes are just one of the dozens of new products now being targeted by the White House in its escalating trade war with China.