Motorcycles held for ransom in latest USA-European Union spat

A long-running dispute over U.S. beef imports to the European Union has somehow spilled over in the motorcycle world and threatens to disrupt the entire industry.

At the heart of the matter is a proposed tariff as high as 100% for bikes with an engine size between 51cc and 500cc, which would impact some of our most beloved brands like Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Husqvarna, KTM, Piaggo and Vespa.

Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he was “sympathetic” to dealers and motorcyclists, but added that he won’t remove these bikes from the proposed import tariff. An article from Dealer News noted that “a member of Lighthizer’s staff stated that motorcycles were placed on the list because officials hoped the outrage of motorcyclists and the motorcycle industry would provide leverage for the U.S. beef industry”.

As a motorcyclist, I’m positively pissed off. While we’re at it, let’s also slap a tariff on European beer, cosmetics, and cars. Hell, let’s just ban anything that’s not made in America and be done with it.

Economic integration is what makes our modern world tick. Let’s hope our government officials acknowledge this essential fact before they cause irreversible damage to our sport and to our economy. Click here to contact Mr. Lighthizer directly.