At 12:49 AM 11/15/02 -0600, Bullwinkle wrote:
>I am no authority, but the original reference was in regard to a trade
>embargo I thought. I thought a trade embargo controlled the quantity of
>items being imported or even prevented their importation. Quotas in other
Sounds right to me. But I think the embargo bit was more implied by virtue
of other inhibiting actions, such as emissions and safety requirements
(neither of which should actually be a problem in the case of the mew MGs).
>A duty is a tax. Originally most of them were created for revenue
>purposes. From what I recall of my history, that's how the US got most of
>its income before the personal income tax.
Before my time, but probably also right.
>Now day's the primary purpose of a duty has been as a protection for U.S.
>manufactures against cheaper foreign goods.
Yeah, that's pretty close too. It is not intended to shut them out all
together, just to adjust the playing field to some desired level of
competition (and I didn't say "even" level).
In the case of the pickup trucks being imported as cab and chassis units
and the load beds being manufactured and installed in the US, that was
serving two different purposes, both instigated by the same tarrif (and
fairly successfully at that).
First was the traditional effect of partly discouraging the import of
vehicles at a time when the import vehicles had a significant price
advantage in the domestic market (partly the result of a strange aberation
in the value of currency). But people still need vehicles, so they just
end up paying a bit more for the combined lot of domestic and import
vehicles in the interest of retaining domestic jobs and keeping the
domestic economy on a steady path while weathering the storm.
Secondly, the incomplete trucks were being imported as "parts" as opposed
to complete vehicles, so a certain vehicle import duty (tax) was being
avoided. The load beds being manufactured domestically gave the finished
vehicle a certain minimum level of "domestic content" as required by
another part of the tarfif law, which was also serving the protectionist
intent of the action by retaining some domestic jobs.
One of the less desireable side effects or this arrangement turned out to
be a bunch of 5 year old trucks in good running condition with a solid cab
and badly rusted out load bed. You can make up your own stories about the
politics and economics of that issue.
As for the current crop of MGs possibly getting into the US, I suppose the
total absence of tarrifs might not even help much. There are other issues
of vehicle pricing which are probably the overbearing restraint, and the
capital investment involved to ramp up production when developoment money
within the company is having to be rationed. And then there's that still
nagging (but not insurmountable) problem of prior existing dealer
franchises. I'm not holding my breath, but I am betting that some new MGs
will get here eventually (given at least a few more years), and also
betting that the company will not fold in the interim.
1958 MGA with an attitude
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