Electric bikes will face 25 percent increase due to steel tariffs

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) The Trump administration has finalized a new round of tariffs on imports from China. It means in just two weeks more Chinese imports will face a 25 percent tariff when they come into the United States. The Trump administration's strategy is to force China to adopt more fair intellectual property and technology policies. But for retailers, this trade war could crush their bottom lines.

The owner of World of Bikes, Ryan Baker, said one of his biggest sellers is about to get even more expensive with these tariffs. He's anticipating taking a hit.

"We sell a lot of family and kids bikes but the e-bike market was definitely one of our fastest-growing markets within the shop," said Baker.

Mike Russell and his wife, Rebecca, rode to World of Bikes Thursday, looking to buy a new one.

"It's something I enjoy doing and just getting outside and getting to burn off some of the calories I consume far too often," said Mike Russell.

"I was surprised and it's unfortunate that prices have to go up," said Rebecca Russell.

Regular adult bikes start around $330 dollars and kids' bikes around $200. But electric bicycles that provide an assist to peddlers, start in the thousands and the tariffs will add about another 500 dollars.

"It's going to significantly change the pricing on a lot of these bikes," said Baker.

That significant rise may also cause a significant drop in sales of some of the most popular bikes.

"We sell a lot of family and kids bikes but the e-bike market was definitely one of our fastest-growing markets within the shop," said Baker.

"I think as far as people purchasing new bikes it will definitely put a damper on that aspect," said Mike Russell.

But Mike Russell is hopeful the sticker shock will be temporary.

"It's one of those items that hopefully will be short-lived," said Mike Russell. "I think it's kind of who's going to blink first. Will it be the U.S. or will it be our international trade partners? I don't think it's going to pan out long-term. If it does, I think it's going to be unfortunate for consumers here state-side."

The tariffs will go into place August 23. There still could be more to come.
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The Trump Administration announced another set of 25 percent tariffs on 16 billion dollars worth of Chinese products Tuesday. They'll begin on August 23. Those imports include industrial supplies, motorcycles, and electronic parts; including those used in electric bikes.

The owner of World of Bikes said in a couple weeks prices will dramatically change for certain bikes in his shop. The price of electric bikes are already on the steeper side, usually starting at about two thousand dollars. Now, the price tag will include about an extra $500 dollars due to the tariffs. World of Bikes Owner Ryan Baker told TV-9, while they do sell a lot of family and kids bicycles, the electric-assisted ones from China are hot sellers.

"I imagine it will slow at first but if that's going to be the new normal for bikes of that nature people that were interested in them will continue to shop for them and hopefully continue to buy more of them," said World of Bikes Owner Ryan Baker.

There's also another proposed 10 percent tariff to other bikes coming from China but nothing has been confirmed on that front yet. The one affecting e-bikes is expected to kick in August 23.