Purposes of trade remedy laws

08/12/2022 10:36 - 22 Views

At their most basic level, all United States trade remedies are about restricting competition from foreign companies, so as to benefit domestic companies. The particular rationale for the trade restrictions varies from trade remedy to trade remedy. All of these restrictions, however, are created by United States statutes — laws that were written with significant input from the domestic industries that benefit from such remedies.


Foreign companies often complain that these trade remedy laws are anti-competitive. This point is an intellectually fair criticism, but the very purpose of trade remedy laws is to restrict competition — although only foreign competition. Domestic competition law in the United States focuses on protecting competition, not protecting competitors. Since both sides of an antitrust struggle are usually domestic companies, the law has generally evolved in a more balanced way, with no bias favouring one set of competitors at the expense of others. Trade law is different; it explicitly favours domestic companies at the expense of foreign competitors.


Trade remedies thus have become tools that United States companies use regularly to achieve corporate objectives. In many foreign countries, managers focus on engineering, marketing and other traditional business disciplines, rarely focusing on legal proceedings. In the United States, in contrast, management often focuses on legal proceedings as a competitive tool. In the United States, the chief legal officer of a company is frequently promoted to become the CEO. Most United States business schools require their MBA students to take a mandatory course in the relationship of government to business. Students are taught case studies illustrating how legal proceedings, including trade remedy cases such as an anti-dumping proceeding, can be used as competitive weapons. It is not surprising, therefore, that United States companies have historically been among the most aggressive users of trade remedy laws.


Source: Business Guide to Trade Remedies in the United States: Anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguards legislation practices and procedures

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