Posts Tagged ‘tariffs’

Interbike 2018: Can you show me where it hurts?

September 19, 2018

There’s a new tariff in town.

Back to the present: My man Matt Wiebe of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News serves up a piece from Interbike about whether retailers should be stocking up on product with more tariffs on the horizon.

Among the folks Matt spoke to was Friend of the Blog Stephen Newhall of Rob and Charlie’s in Fanta Se, who is taking the dire pronouncements from some suppliers with “a grain of salt.”

“What will happen is that sales that would have otherwise happened in November and December will happen sooner,” he says.

One of the big issues is what constitutes a bike made in China, notes Bob Margevicius of Specialized.

“A bike’s point of origin is not necessarily clear because it is made from components from so many sources,” he says. “It is an extremely confusing time right now.”

The whole piece is worth a read, especially since Matt isn’t just another Fake News guy like Your Humble Narrator. He’s also a small-business owner*, a pro salmon fisherman with a boat, nets, and everything.

* Note the hyphenation there. That’s an Associated Press style deal intended to avoid confusion. Matt helms a small business, but as anyone who has ever seen him will attest, he is not a small businessman.

• Next: The dream is gone.

Interbike 2018: Protection racket

September 17, 2018

Ow, goddamn it, I had the helmet on, but hit my nose on the keyboard.

We interrupt our waltz down the aisles of Interbikes Past to visit Interbike Present, where the industry is looking at eating a fourth round of tariffs for Christmas dinner.

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

As the fella says, a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

Speaking of which, China appears poised for retalation, and The New York Times reports that “top officials have warned that could include penalizing American companies that rely on Chinese components for phones, cars, televisions and other products.”

The good news is that this latest round of Gotcha! won’t affect bicycle helmets. So strap one on before you start banging your head on the desk. You’ll be able to get a new one cheap. Ish.

Extra-Credit Business Studies

• Do tariffs save American factories? Nope.

• China’s options appear limited … on the surface, anyway.

There is no short-term solution, says China’s richest man.