NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

"Dumped" Imports Benefit Consumers

July 24, 2003

American companies can petition the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) for protection from imports under U.S. "antidumping" laws. The cases involve goods that allegedly have been subsidized by foreign governments or sold in the United States for less than their fair value (dumped).

The Federal Trade Commission examined 132 antidumping cases brought before the USITC between 1989 and 1994 and found that in many cases the benefits to consumers greatly outweighed the loss of workers in targeted industries.

  • The total benefit to consumers of the goods involved in 54 of the 132 "antidumping" cases was at least $2.9 billion per year (1992 dollars).
  • "Dumped" steel from Canada and Japan, for instance, led to consumer gains of $1.16 billion.
  • In seven cases, the annual consumer gain per worker lost exceeded $1 million; one case involving salmon from Norway showed a $3.3 million annual consumer benefit per worker fired.
  • There was sufficient data in 63 cases to determine the affect on industry from "dumped" imports; in more than half of these cases the reduction in total revenue of the affected U.S. industry was less than 5 percent.

The evidence suggests that the benefits to consumers from "dumped" imports, in the form of cheaper products, are often significant. This does not include the manufacturing jobs created in industries that use imports to fabricate other products.

Source: Kenneth H. Kelly et al., "Quantifying Causes of Injury to U.S. Industries Competing With Unfairly Traded Imports: 1989 to 1994," Federal Trade Commission, December 2002.

 

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