NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Is The U.S. Exporting Anti-Dumping Laws?

December 22, 1999

The U.S. employs so-called "anti-dumping" laws which slap heavy duties on imported products authorities suspect are being sold "at less than fair market value." But most economists see them as protectionist and developing nations concur.

Experts forecast that those same nations may start adopting their own anti-dumping regulations in retaliation. "I would think U.S. exporters, if not yet, are soon going to start quaking in their boots, because they are going to suffer," predicts Thomas Prusa, an economist at Rutgers University.

  • Between 1987 and 1997, 188 anti-dumping cases were filed against the U.S.
  • In the last 10 years, there has been a fivefold jump in anti-dumping filings by countries which had recently adopted such laws.
  • Between 1995 and 1999, these countries had almost three times as many anti-dumping actions per dollar of imports as the U.S. did.
  • Prusa estimates that one-third of these actions are retaliation for anti-dumping actions against their exports here.

Even if economists could find a rationale for this particular kind of protectionism, anti-dumping procedures hurt consumers in the country which imposes them.

A recent study in the Journal of International Economics put the cost to American consumers of U.S. anti-dumping actions at $4 billion a year. By 2005, anti-dumping laws will cost the U.S. more than any other kind of import protection.

Source: Kevin Butler, "Poor Nations Fight Back on Trade," Investor's Business Daily, December 22, 1999.


Browse more articles on Economic Issues