AMA Opposes Tariffs

The american Motorcycle Association finally came out in opposition to the plans for imposing a 100% tariff on all European bikes imported to the US that have an engine displacement of 50cc-500cc.

The federal measure is designed as retaliation to the 27-member European Union’s continuing import ban on American beef treated with growth hormones. EU officials haven’t lifted that 20-year-old ban, despite a World Trade Organization (WTO) order to end it.

If U.S. officials impose the retaliatory tariff, it would double the price of a host of under-500cc on- and off-highway machines from brands such as Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husaberg, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.

“There is no logical link between European motorcycles and the dispute over beef,” said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations, in his comments submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. “Imposing these stiff tariffs on motorcycles would do nothing to resolve the trade dispute, but would punish American buyers of European motorcycles.”

I’ve never been a big fan of tariffs anyway.  This is even stupider than most tariffs.  The Euros won’t buy our hormone injected beef, so we won’t buy their small, economical motorcycles?  It’s hard to see what the linkage is there.  Beyond that, the idea seems to be that if the Europeans want to penalize their consumers by denying them access to our beef, the best response is to penalize American consumers by restricting our access to their products?

On the other hand, I’m sure the Japanese support this tariff proposal  every inch of the way.  Since there aren’t actually any American manufacturers producing motorcycles of that size, the Japanese are the big winners.