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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In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

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