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How a Tariff That Began In 1963 Helped Protect America’s Second Most Valuable Product - The Ford F-Series Pickup

The impact on America's economy from the duty-protected made-in-America Ford F-Series is staggering.

Fifty-seven years ago this December, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Proclamation 3564. The proclamation includes a 25% import duty on imported pickup trucks. The original idea for the tariff began during President Kennedy’s administration, but he was assassinated before he could complete the failed negotiations that ultimately resulted in the tariff.

This week, Ford is launching its newest F-150 pickup truck. The (still) made-in-America F-Series is the top-selling vehicle nameplate in America, and if you were born after 1982 you have never lived in a world when the F-Series wasn’t the top-selling automobile in North America. In addition to being the top-selling vehicle in America, the F-Series truck is also one of America’s most valuable consumer products. In fact, Boston Consulting Group estimated in a recent study it ranks number two overall, second only to the Apple iPhone.

Just how much impact does the made-in-America Ford F-Series have on the American economy? An enormous impact. The Ford F-150 would be listed on the Fortune 500, S&P 500, and Dow Jones Industrial Average if it were a stand-alone corporation. Here are just a few facts about the economic might of Ford’s made-in-America F-Series:
-The F-Series generates more revenue than MacDonalds
-The F-Series generates more revenue than Coca Cola
-The F-Series generates more revenue than Nike
-The F-Series generates more revenue than Netflix
-The F-Series generates more revenue than Visa
-Twice as Many Ford Trucks are built in America than any other pickup truck
-500,000 American jobs are attributable to the F-Series Pickup truck. Roughly the equivalent of all the full-time jobs in the state of Rhode Island
-The F-Series accounts for half of Fords total GDP contribution
-The F-Series contributes about 50 Million to America’s Gross Domestic Product
-Ford has 5,000 US-Based suppliers

Ford has approximately 56,000 hourly factory workers inside of America’s borders, more than any other vehicle manufacturer. Although Ford has manufacturing hubs in the Midwest, notably in Michigan, the F-Series and Ford overall have a major impact on states no longer known as places where manufacturing is a key employer. For example, Ford has 98 suppliers located in Massachusetts and BCG estimates that the company is responsible for 4,883 jobs in the state.

Contrast the Ford F-Series with General Motors's newest and hottest product launches. The Buick Encore, Buick Encore GX, Chevy Blazer, Chevy Trailblazer, Buick Envision, and Chevy Trax are all imported. Since they are not truck-based, Proclamation 3564 does not apply to them. Just like it does not apply to the imported-from-Brazil Ford Ecosport crossover.

The import duty on imported pickup trucks first considered by President Kennedy, and signed by President Johnson, has been kept in place since by Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008, he retired from that career to chase his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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