Which Came First, The Frozen Chicken Or The Tax On Foreign Trucks? : Planet Money Just kidding, it was the frozen chicken — then came the American tax that helped shape the domestic market for trucks.
NPR logo Which Came First, The Frozen Chicken Or The Tax On Foreign Trucks?

Which Came First, The Frozen Chicken Or The Tax On Foreign Trucks?

A weird story about frozen chickens, American trucks and trade protectionism.

NPR YouTube

In the 1960s, there was a new fad in Germany: cheap, frozen American chicken. German families couldn't get enough of the stuff — it was great for the German consumer, but not so great for the German chicken farmer. So the farmers went to the government, and, lo, a trade war was born.

In this first episode of Planet Money Shorts, witness the making of an automotive juggernaut — the story of how a tax on frozen chicken wound up defining the U.S. market for trucks. With some acting help from various NPR employees (read: definitely not professional actors), it's the story of "The Chicken Tax!"

Listen to the original Planet Money podcast episode here! Subscribe to our video series here — and, while you're at it, subscribe to our podcast.