The Corner

A 100 Percent Tariff on Motorcycles?

As surprising as it sounds, I think that President Trump might be confused on a policy detail. He says that an unnamed country imposes a 100 percent tariff on U.S.-made motorcycles. This may be the case, but if it is, I am unaware of it and can find no evidence of it. I’ll update if somebody corrects me.

What is certainly is happening is that the United States is considering a 100 percent tariff on European-made motorcycles. This is part of a dispute about beef, with the steak-and-burger lobby looking for retaliatory tariffs on key European imports in response to European regulations regarding U.S.-origin beef and meat products. U.S. producers use certain hormones that are banned in the European Union.

Punishing U.S. consumers to subsidize a politically influential industry: That’s a great policy if you have a large cattle-ranching operation — or if you fancy paying twice as much for a Ducati.

UPDATE: India and the Maldives do have a 100 percent tariff on some imported motorcycles. It’s a bad policy for them, and would be a bad policy for us. 

 

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