ACEM press release - Motorcycle industry concerned over potential escalation in US-EU trade relations impacting the motorcycle sector

07 March 2018

Brussels, 7 March 2018. The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) is deeply concerned at the recent press statements delivered by the American and European authorities in relation to US imports of steel and aluminium. ACEM appreciates the reasons behind potential retaliation action by the EU in case the US increases tariffs on imported steel and aluminium. However, the motorcycle industry would be severely damaged if brought into this trade dispute.

One of ACEM’s member companies, Harley-Davidson, was mentioned amongst possible targets for retaliation by European authorities. ACEM wrote to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stressing that while the industry understands the reasons behind the EU’s intention to retaliate firmly and swiftly, a potential increase of customs duties on American exports of motorcycles would clearly be damaging to the American companies but also to European economies and jobs. It might also, in turn, result in the US administration imposing retaliatory tariffs on European exports. Overall, this could lead to considerable negative economic impacts and job losses for the motorcycle sector in both the US and Europe, particularly in areas such as the manufacturing and distribution of vehicles, parts and components.
Stefan Pierer CEO of KTM AG and President of ACEM said: “Motorcycle companies are global players committed to free and balanced trade agreements. The US and the EU should be working together to facilitate international trade and regulatory convergence, not to restrict it by adopting unilateral and politically motivated measures”.
Antonio Perlot, ACEM Secretary General,
said: “The EU is a key market for American motorcycle brands. But the US is also Europe’s first trading partner in the motorcycle segment. We trust that American and European authorities will avoid triggering a global trade escalation, which, could be extremely damaging for the motorcycle industry on both sides of the Atlantic”.
Note for editors

  • About 156,000 jobs depend on the motorcycle, moped, tricycle and quadricycle industry in the EU.
  • According to EUROSTAT figures, in 2016 the EU 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.
  • The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) represents manufacturers of mopeds, motorcycles, three-wheelers and quadricycles (L-category vehicles) in Europe.
  • ACEM manufacturing members, which include some of the largest multinationals in the sector, are: BMW Motorrad, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), Ducati Motor holding, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, MV Agusta, Peugeot Scooters, PIAGGIO, Polaris Industries, Renault, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph Motorcycles and Yamaha.

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

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