This press release from the AMA says the Office of the US Trade Representative has dropped small-bore motorcycles and scooters from a proposed tariff plan aimed at retaliating against European bans on US beef.

According to the AMA its members, the Motorcycle Industry Council, individual manufacturers, dealers, and others had contacted the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative opposing the idea of the tariff.

In a statement released on Jan. 15, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab noted her office late last year sought comments on which of more than 100 European goods should be subject to the tariffs.

“Approximately 600 comments were received by the requested due date of Dec. 8, 2008,” she said. “An interagency committee of trade experts and economists reviewed the public comments and provided recommendations to the USTR with respect to modifications (to the list of products subject to additional duties) that would result in a more effective action, while taking account of effects on the U.S. economy, including consumers.”

There’s no such thing as a free market, and every government engages in putting up trade barriers for all sorts of reasons. Most of them do far more harm than good. This particular idea was worse than most. Good riddance to one small bit of governmental meddling.