Tuesday, December 23, 2008

U.S. Frankenmeat v. Euro Scooters!

Q: What does American beef have to do with the price of that KTM MX'er or Piaggio scooter you've been eyeing?  A: Quite a lot...maybe. U.S. Office of Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced last month that USTR is seeking public comment on the possible modification of the list of European products subject to increased tariffs in connection with the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement rulings in the EU – Beef Hormones dispute. About 10 years ago the WTO held that the Europe Union's ban on U.S. beef was a no-no.  Funny thing, the Europeans to this day still refuse to buy our hormone-laden beef.  So Uncle Sam is mulling over the idea of increasing (by at least 100%) import tariffs on all Eurpoean motorcycles between 51cc and 500cc. I don't know if that's right or wrong to bring a totally non-related industry into an agricultural dispute, but the effect for we motorcyclists is that it may be a good idea to buy that Euro-scooter sooner rather than later. You can read the AMA's response here.

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