5 Amazing Trucks The US Can't Have Because Of The Chicken Tax


The reason for not getting these trucks is just stupid at this point.

The US has strict import laws that are part of the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988. This restricts us from importing cars until they are 25 years old. The US also has an equally stupid law called the Chicken Tax, a law from 1963 that imposes a 25 percent tax on imported potato starch, dextrin, brandy and (for some stupid reason) light-duty pickup trucks. The Chicken Tax prevents automakers from selling small pickup trucks in the US, unless they are built here. This has prevented the US from receiving these 5 awesome trucks.


In the US, Ford discontinued its small pickup truck, the Ranger, back in 2011. Yet, the rest of the world could still buy a Ranger after that. We begged Ford to build another Ranger, and we finally got what we wanted. Ford announced the revival of the Ranger and the equally missed Bronco for 2019. The truck will be built in the US, where the Focus is currently built, to avoid the Chicken Tax. This is the only truck on this list that we begged for and the automaker actually built. We wanted to mention the Ranger on this list as a message to the other manufacturers to build affordable small pickup trucks in the US and to the US government to get rid of this stupid law.


The Ford Ranger may be coming back, but the Dodge Dakota certainly isn't anytime soon. Even though there is high demand for a midsize pickup truck in the market, Dodge has no plans to revive the Dakota, which it killed off in 2011. This is quite a shame because Dodge's parent company, Fiat, actually has a truck that it could base a new Dakota on. It's called the Fullback, which we think would be a great name in the US. The fullback is a tough, under-appreciated position in American Football, and the truck could be marketed as tough and reliable. We would love to see a diesel version of the Fullback in the US, but that seems even more unlikely.

Before the Chicken Tax existed, Volkswagen sold a pickup truck based on the Rabbit. We would love to see a tiny truck like that once again, but the mid-size Amarok would be awesome as well. We've heard rumors that VW could build a new pickup truck model based on the new Atlas SUV, which would be awesome. Turning the Honda Pilot into the Ridgeline pickup truck worked well for Honda, so we would love to see VW employ a similar strategy with the Atlas.

Mercedes-Benz has gone back and forth several times on whether it will sell its new X-Class pickup truck in the US. The final decision is that it will not, which is hugely disappointing. We think that the X-Class would be a huge success in the US. It would sell to people that want a pickup truck with a luxury badge. The X-Class is based on the Nissan Navara, which is also not sold in the US. Mercedes will add many luxury features to the truck, but the platform will be shared with Nissan much like the Mercedes GLA and Infiniti QX30. Perhaps more than any other truck on the list, the X-Class is the one that we think could sell in the US without any changes.

The Toyota Hilux is far from the most interesting truck on this list, but it was launched into the hearts of enthusiasts thanks to three appearance on BBC's Top Gear. The Hilux was used by Jeremy Clarkson and James May as the first car to ever reach the magnetic North Pole. James May then took one of the camera cars from that polar voyage right up to an erupting volcano. If those stunts didn't prove the reliability of the Hilux, then dropping it from the top of a building and having it still start up definitely did. The Hilux may not be that different from the US market Tacoma, but there are some subtle differences that make Americans pine for this forbidden fruit.

Join The Discussion



Related Cars

To Top