Acem – Stop import duties feud! It’s a zero sum game! – UPDATED

UPDATE – 22 March.
It appears that the threat of a tit-for-tat trade war between the USA and the EU of a has been averted. In the end, it appears that the US Administration will to impose trade duties exclusively on steel and aluminium sourced from China. What is not yet known at the moment is whether the exclusion of Europe from the measure is temporary or definitive. Of course, the EU was ready (and will remain ready) to engage in this trade dispute, if the US will come back to assessing protectionist barriers to EU products.
Here below our article published on the morning of the 21st March 2018.



The European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (ACEM) is once again raising the alarm about the possible negative effects of the imposition of EU customs duties on motorcycles manufactured in America. The message comes from its president, Stefan Pierer: “No one will come out a winner from this trade war”. For this reason, the industry is asking to leave the motorcycle sector out of the measures under examination

Brussels, 21 March 2018. One day ahead of the Brussels European summit, where the 28 Heads of State and Government will discuss trade policy, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) calls on EU governments to exclude motorcycles from the lists of American products on which the EU will increase customs duties. The EU stands ready to retaliate against the US following the decision of the Trump administration to impose additional duties on imports of steel and aluminium products including European ones.

ACEM wrote to the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, and to the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, to express its concern about the escalation of this trade conflict. In its letter, the European motorcycle industry explained that by enacting retaliatory tariffs on American motorcycles, the EU may end up triggering American retaliatory measures against European-made motorcycles and scooters.

Since this would severely damage not only motorcycle manufacturers in Europe, but also European manufacturers of parts, components and accessories (many of which are SMEs) and providers of services demanded by motorcycle companies, ACEM calls on EU governments and the European Commission to exclude American motorcycle exports from their retaliation and compensation lists. ACEM will elaborate on the negative consequences for the motorcycle sector of this trade dispute in its reply to a public consultation launched by the European Commission.

ACEM President and CEO of KTM AG, Stefan Pierer, who is today attending the ACEM General Assembly hosted by Peugeot Scooters in Sochaux (France), said: “Europe is one of the most important markets for American exporters of motorcycles, and about 30% of all European motorcycle exports go to the US. This trade dispute could be extremely damaging for both sides. Nobody wins with trade wars”.

ACEM Secretary General Antonio Perlot said: “We call on EU Member States to urgently exclude American motorcycle exports from its retaliation and compensation lists. We also encourage the European Commission to work constructively with Washington to reach a negotiated solution to the steel and aluminium issues, and to de-escalate the conflict. The motorcycle sector must not be brought into this trade dispute”.

At the moment, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, seems to be negotiating directly with several countries. In particular, it would have granted an exemption from the duties for Canada and Mexico. With Europe, on the other hand, negotiations would still be open, even if stagnant, and Brussels has published a list of potential US products that could be taxed. At the end of the consultation, it will be decided which ones are to be included in the measure, though this will only be effective if the United States too will apply trade duties to European steel and aluminium.
Among other things, in a globalised world, the imposition of trade duties is certainly a counterproductive measure, given that companies now produce in various countries, often involving plants in different continents for the various processing of the same vehicle.

Some data

  • About 300,000 jobs depend on the motorcycle, moped, tricycle and quadricycle industry in the EU.
  • According to EUROSTAT figures, in 2016 the EU’s exports of motorcycles to the US amounted to € 483.1 million, which represented 29.1% of all European motorcycle exports. Furthermore, EU-based companies exported € 139.6 million in motorcycle parts and components to America (30.8% of the total). In 2016, the US was the first destination for European exports of motorcycles as well as parts and components.
  • The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) represents manufacturers of mopeds, motorcycles, three-wheelers and quadricycles (L-category vehicles) in Europe. ACEM members include 17 manufacturing companies and 17 national industry associations.
  • ACEM manufacturing members, which include some of the largest multinationals in the sector, are: BMW Motorrad, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), Ducati Motor holding, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, MV Agusta, Peugeot Scooters, PIAGGIO, Polaris Industries, Renault, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph Motorcycles and Yamaha.


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