An Administrator’s Look at Antidumping Duty Laws in United States Trade Policy

Trade policymakers, like military strategists, are often “fighting the last war.” Our present antidumping law was passed in 1921. It was a reaction to trade problems perceived in the years during and after World War I. The related countervailing duty law harks back to an even earlier era. Since their enactment we have tinkered with each. Administration of both statutes has been surrounded by extensive regulations and a body of unwritten practice. But solving the trade problems of today-if that is what we are doing-with this elaborate legal corpus will not necessarily provide us with a sensible guide to the laws we need to meet the challenges of the next decade. Important new trends are discernible even now. Perhaps the old rules will continue to serve us in these new situations; more likely, they will give way to new thinking.