Silicon Valley Hits Back at Proposed Tariffs on Chinese Electric Bikes and Scooters

Electric Scooters from Lime, rentable via the Uber app
Getty/FRANCOIS GUILLOT

Silicon Valley is hitting back against proposed tariffs on Chinese electric bikes and scooters, according to reports.

A new report from the Financial Times details Silicon Valley’s pushback against proposed tariffs on “e-bikes,” electric bikes and scooters from China. Silicon Valley companies Uber, Bird, and Lime have all hit back against the proposed 25 percent import duty on e-bikes.

Danielle Burr, Uber’s head of federal affairs, argues that the 25 percent import duty will significantly harm U.S. economic interests. “Where businesses can absorb this significant increase in costs, this will come at the expense of investment in new technologies, expansion of physical plants, and U.S. job creation,” Burr wrote in a statement. “Where businesses are forced to pass on increased costs, consumers will face higher prices and lower availability.”

In a statement, a lawyer for Bird, a Silicon Valley company that rents electric scooters, says that the tariffs will have a negligible impact on the Chinese economy while putting U.S. economic growth at risk. “Putting a sizeable tariff on scooters will do little to impact the Chinese economy,” Bird’s attorney wrote, “but risks the stratospheric growth of an American success story without the benefit of supporting an alternative American electric scooter manufacturer.”

Bird’s attorney took it a step further, arguing that many American jobs are at risk if the tariffs are to go through.”All these American jobs are at risk if Bird’s business model is prematurely disrupted,” the attorney added.

Electric scooter company Lime has also voiced their opposition to the proposed tariffs. Lime CEO Toby Sun has expressed “deep concern” over the tariffs. “My co-founders and I started our company in the United States because of the tremendous opportunities this country offers entrepreneurs to innovate, generate economic growth, and create new products that improve life for everyday people,” Sun said.

Breitbart News reported in April that electric scooters are extremely unpopular amongst some locals in cities like San Francisco. Local residents have complained that the electric scooters have clogged sidewalks and blocked shop entryways.

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