UK motorcycle industry warns trade tariffs on motorcycles will result in job losses in the UK

23 March 2018

The UK’s Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) is strongly urging the UK Government to exclude motorcycles from the list of American products on which the EU will increase customs duties.

Failing to do so will have a detrimental effect on the industry, which employs an estimated 58,500 people across 5700 businesses in the UK and will inevitably result in job losses.
MCIA is backing the position of ACEM, the European body which represents 17 national motorcycle industry associations and 17 motorcycle manufacturers in the EU.
ACEM is concerned about EU plans to retaliate against the US, following the decision of the Trump administration to impose additional duties on imports of steel and aluminium products, including European ones.
ACEM has written to the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, and to the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, to express its concern about the escalation of this trade conflict. In its letter, the European motorcycle industry explained that by enacting retaliatory tariffs on American motorcycles, the EU may end up triggering American retaliatory measures against European-made motorcycles and scooters.
Tony Campbell, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Associations says:
“Targeting high profile brands is headline grabbing but won’t have any real value in resolving this situation and will seriously harm an industry which is already under pressure.
“I am hopeful that common sense will prevail.”
ACEM President and CEO of KTM AG, Stefan Pierer said:
“Europe is one of the most important markets for American exporters of motorcycles, and about 30% of all European motorcycle exports go to the US. This trade dispute could be extremely damaging for both sides. Nobody wins with trade wars”.
Notes for Editors

  • The Motorcycle Industry Association represents the UK’s major motorcycle manufacturers and importers, accessory and component suppliers and service providers.  Members include BMW, Ducati, Honda, Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, KTM, Norton, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha.  For a full list of member companies see:
  •  You can read the ACEM press release here:  
  • Around 300,000 jobs depend on the motorcycle, moped, tricycle and quadricycle industry in the EU, c 58,500 of them in the UK.
  • According to EUROSTAT figures, in 2016 the EU’s exports of motorcycles to the US amounted to € 483.1 million, which represented 29.1% of all European motorcycle exports. Furthermore, EU-based companies exported € 139.6 million in motorcycle parts and components to America (30.8% of the total). In 2016, the US was the first destination for European exports of motorcycles as well as parts and components.


For further details or to arrange interviews with Tony Campbell, contact Polly Fenn on 02476 408000 or email

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