Cuenca High Life logo

Cuenca News

Bicycle and other sporting goods merchants expect sales boost from tariff removal

The removal of import tariffs on sporting goods in Ecuador will benefit both consumers and sellers, according to the owner of Cuenca’s Cube Bike shop, Diego Contreras. “Everyone benefits from the change and I look forward to meeting new customers.”

Diego Contreras at his Cube Bike shop in Cuenca. (El Mercurio)

Contreras says he has already received a number of inquiries about when the lower prices will take effect.

Following an order by President Lenin Moreno, Ecuador’s Foreign Trade Committee (Comex) reduced import fees on all sporting goods and equipment from 40 percent to 15 percent. In several statements, Moreno said that the decision was prompted by the Ecuadorian cyclist Richard Carapaz’s victory at the Giro d’Italia in June and by the country’s recent success at the PanAmerican Games in Lima.

“We want to reduce the burden of our athletes so they can compete successfully in international competition,” he said. “Lowering the tariff is one way the government can help.”

Moreno added that the tariff reduction was part of the government’s overall plan to develop “a more rational” economic policy. “We must accept the reality of the interconnected world market and adopt trade and import rules that respond to that reality.”

At Contreras’ bike shop on the corner of Remigio Tamariz and Agustín Cueva, the lower tariff means that the price for his popular All Mountain bike will drop from $8,000 to $6,500. “For some of the bikers who have put off replacing older bikes, this means they can now afford to purchase a new one.” He says the new pricing should be fully in place in Cuenca by November or December.

For Jaime Moreno, director of the Cuenca Chamber of Commerce, the tariff reduction is welcome news. “The import costs should never have been 40 percent since this was not a case of protecting Ecuadorian businesses, since there are none to produce high-quality sporting goods. It was simply a money grab by the government.”

7 thoughts on “Bicycle and other sporting goods merchants expect sales boost from tariff removal

  1. hope this brings down the cost of tennis shoes, tennis racquets, and tennis balls, too. cost of tennis gear here is outrageous!

  2. As an Ultra Marathoner Athlete, this is great news for our Ecuadorian Athletes.
    Thanks for this brilliant idea…

  3. “Everyone benefits from the change and I look forward to meeting new customers.” It’s true that merchants and consumers will gain from lower prices, but not everyone benefits from lower tariffs. The government will lose income it will not have to spend on government programs that benefit the people, including programs for the most needy and vulnerable. To think otherwise is to engage in fantasy.

    “We must accept the reality of the interconnected world market and adopt trade and import rules that respond to that reality,” said Pres. Moreno. Such thinking will consign Ecuador to the status of a third rate economy, because that is the role international capital has for Ecuador (i.e. rape Ecuador’s natural resources, drain Ecuador’s capital for investment outside the country, drain Ecuador’s professional class for immigration to more developed economies, and use of the masses of poor Ecuadorians as a cheap source of labor).

    1. The answer is not to charge exorbitant tariffs but to rewrite the tax laws so everyone pays their fair share. Ecuador’s per capita tax rate is one of the lowest in Latin American, and hence in the world. Tariffs are simply a way to avoid changing the tax laws. I agree with Moreno on this one.

      1. Not all taxes are about generating revenue. Income tax and IVA are meant to generate revenue. Cigarette taxes are about reducing consumption. Import tariffs are about balancing trade. If Ecuador were suddenly inundated with cheap foreign made consumer goods, the loss of dollars in circulation would seize up the economy. That is the single largest threat to Ecuador’s prosperity. Raising income taxes could offset lost tax revenue from customs duties but it would be disastrous for dollarization.

Comments are closed.