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October 2020

"Chicken Tax"

The workings of the federal government are sometimes--usually?--hard to believe.

The Chicken Tax is a 25 percent tariff on light trucks (and originally on potato starchdextrin, and brandy) imposed in 1964 by the United States under President Lyndon B. Johnson in response to tariffs placed by France and West Germany on importation of U.S. chicken.[1] The period from 1961–1964[2] of tensions and negotiations surrounding the issue was known as the "Chicken War," taking place at the height of Cold War politics.[3]

Eventually, the tariffs on potato starch, dextrin, and brandy were lifted,[4] but since 1964 this form of protectionism has remained in place to give U.S. domestic automakers an advantage over competition (e.g., from Japan, Turkey, China, and Thailand).[5]

See also "The Chicken Tax and Its Influence on the U.S. Auto Industry".