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Bird and Spin scooters. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Trump administration's new tariffs on Chinese imports may include a new Silicon Valley darling: Electric scooters.

Why it matters: This could hobble a popular new mode of hyper-local transportation, as most U.S. e-scooter companies use vehicles manufactured in China.

Status: This morning, tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods went into effect.

  • While imports of scooters don't appear to be currently affected, some import codes used by scooter startups are part of a proposed list of an additional $16 billion worth of goods the administration is considering adding.

What companies told Axios last month:

  • Segway-Ninebot, which makes e-scooters: "Tariffs will definitely increase U.S. consumer cost. Possibly, rates of scooter sharing companies could go up."
  • Spin: "Spin is deploying electric scooter programs across American cities and part of this depends on foreign manufacturing. We're combining this manufacturing with the prowess of our American engineers, operations and policy people who are helping us build these new urban mobility systems. There's a strong harmony in how world trade works, and the tariff goes against this entirely."
  • Lime: “We are closely monitoring the situation and remain committed to providing top quality products for our customers. We will continue advocating for policies that keep affordable, environmentally responsible transportation options available in cities across the country and around the world.”

Bottom line: A 25% price increase for each scooter might be manageable for the largest players, but it could make the math nearly impossible for smaller upstarts.

The story has been updated with additional information to clarify that tariffs on scooters are still being reviewed by the administration.

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

11 mins ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.