NY Times— In an unusually strong protectionist action, President Reagan today ordered a tenfold increase in tariffs for imported heavyweight motorcycles.
The impact of Mr. Reagan’s action, which followed the unanimous recommendation of his trade advisers, is effectively limited to Japanese manufacturers, which dominate every sector of the American motorcycle market.
The only comparable trade action by this Administration, the President’s decision last May to impose quotas on sugar imports for the first time since 1974, was aimed at an entire industry.
But it brought angry reaction today from Japanese officials and a threat to file unfair-trade charges against the United States in Geneva.
”We consider it unfortunate that the American side decided to take this kind of drastic measure,” said Hiroshi Ota, counselor for public affairs at the Japanese Embassy here. He added that Japan was considering taking a formal protest of the action to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.