US component makers squeezed by material costs and new tariff on bearings

By Stephen Frothingham

Chinese-made bearings of many varieties will be hit with a 25 percent tariff starting July 6, increasing pressure on component makers to raise prices.

LOUISVILLE, Colo. (BRAIN) — When you buy 5,000 pounds of aluminum every day, you notice quickly when the cost per pound goes up 20 percent — or more — in a matter of months.

Dave Batka, owner of Wheels Manufacturing, is noticing. Since the start of the year, he’s seen aluminum prices skyrocket, in part because of the tariffs the U.S. imposed on most imported steel and aluminum, and also because of rising material costs generally, stemming from a strong economy and other factors.

Batka is bracing for another price hike next month when a new 25 percent tariff on Chinese bearings kicks in. Along with Chinese GPS units, bearings of many varieties were included in the list of Chinese products subject to the new tariff starting July 6.

“No one makes bearings here, and bikes have a lot of bearings,” Batka told BRAIN this week.

Other U.S. component makers tell BRAIN they are experiencing similar cost increases this year, even before the bearing tariff.

“All our metal is U.S.-sourced but all ships rise …read more

Via:: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News