Outrageous! US Taxes European Trucks at 25% Rate

Back in 1964 the Ford Motor Company was worried about this:

That’s the lovable old VW bus in its pickup truck variation. Ford was worried that it would eat into their domestic pickup truck sales, and if Ford was worried then so was the United Automobile Workers union. Luckily for them, 1964 was an election year. President Lyndon Johnson wanted UAW president Walter Reuther to support his civil rights program and promise not to go on strike during the campaign, so a deal was struck. When the election was over, Johnson made good on his end of the bargain by levying a 25 percent tariff on European light trucks, putatively in retaliation for a European tariff on American chickens. The chicken tax is long gone, but the truck tariff is with us to this day.

This means that all European light pickup trucks face a 25 percent tariff when they enter the US—a tariff so high that it effectively bans all light truck imports. That’s bad news for American consumers who want to buy a VW Amorak, reputed to be a very nice small pickup. I suggest that the EU immediately threaten to levy a 25 percent tariff on all Ford and GM pickup trucks until Donald Trump agrees to level the playing field here.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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