Press release - United States considering additional custom duties on European exports of motorcycles
31 Jan 2017

Press release - United States considering additional custom duties on European exports of motorcycles

The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) is deeply concerned about the current decision of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to consider imposing additional customs duties of up to 100% on European motorcycle exports between 51cc and 500cc as of March 2017. This potential measure follows a formal petition to the USTR from the American beef industry, which has requested the opening of a Section 301 proceeding under the 1974 US Trade Act. This seeks to impose additional duties on EU exports to the US as a retaliatory measure against EU restrictions on American beef imports.

The new motorcycle tariff currently under consideration could not only inflict considerable damage to European companies that manufacture goods used by American citizens for both leisure and mobility. It would also negatively affect US small- and medium- enterprises that provide distribution, dealership and repair services, and could potentially lead to the destruction of thousands of jobs in the US.

ACEM, in line with the motorcycle sector at large in Europe and in the United States, calls on the USTR to properly assess this potential measure and to avoid creating an artificial and counterproductive trade barrier that will certainly not encourage a favourable resolution of the beef dispute and that will be damaging for both the EU and the US economies.


ACEM Secretary General Antonio Perlot said:

“There is no justification for this measure, and the motorcycle sector should not be dragged into trade disputes over food products. ACEM, as the representative of motorcycle manufacturers in Europe, is following this issue closely and presented its observations before the USTR to obtain an immediate exclusion of European motorcycles from the list of products subject to increased duties”.

“We should be looking for new opportunities to promote transatlantic commerce and increase prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic, instead of creating new artificial barriers that hurt European companies, reduce American consumers’ choice and harm jobs in the US”.

“Unilateral measures such as this one will not encourage a favourable resolution of the beef dispute. ACEM calls on the USTR to properly assess the potential measure and counts on the support of the European Commission to ensure that European companies can compete in the US market on fair terms and are not hindered by artificial and counterproductive trade barriers”.

Press contact

For further information or to receive future ACEM news and press releases please contact:
Manuel Ordonez de Barraicua. ACEM communications officer
P. +32 (0)22 30 97 32


  • ACEM, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, is the trade association that represents manufacturers of powered-two and three-wheelers as well as quadricycles (L-category vehicles) in Europe. ACEM members include 17 manufacturing companies and 17 national industry associations in 14 different European countries. About 156,300 jobs depend on the motorcycle, moped, tricycle and quadricycle industry in Europe.
  • ACEM works closely with the EU institutions, as well as with a wide range of stakeholders, in different policy-areas. These include type-approval of L-category vehicles, environmental legislation, road safety and transport policies, international trade negotiations, etc.
  • The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is a Cabinet member who serves as the President’s principal trade adviser, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues. He is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy.
  • Under Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, the USTR is entitled to take unilateral actions and to impose duties upon foreign exports. It is not the first time the European motorcycle industry is targeted by the USTR. In 1999 and 2008, European motorcycles had also been included in – and subsequently removed – from a similar retaliation list.

More information

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European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers

Avenue de la Joyeuse Entrée, 1 B1040
Brussels Belgium

+32 (0)22 30 97 32

VAT BE0451945071

Transparency register - 02480451230-88